RESPECT Waste Pickers as a “DECENT WORKERS” and Waste Picking as a “DECENT JOB”

Posted: June 2, 2013

Kathmandu, March 25, 2013 - Center for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD) in partnership with European Union and Practical Action Nepal celebrated International Waste Pickers' Day for the first time in Nepal by organizing a "Behavior Change Campaign" to provide social recognition for Informal Waste Workers (IWWs) working in waste management sector in and around the Kathmandu valley.

CIUD has been implementing Poverty Reduction of Informal Workers in Solid Waste Management Sector Project (PRISM) in Kathmandu Valley. PRISM is a three (3) year project which is funded by European Union and Practical Action Nepal and has been actively working in five municipalities of Kathmandu valley since May 2011. The event that was held on the 25 March 2013 (which is celebrated ad 'International Waster Pickers Day') included various events such as a walkathon, a signature campaign, poster presentations and a closed workshop. A total of 725 individuals participated in the event.

The primary objective of the workshop was to generate respect for informal waste workers (IWW’s) and increase the level of social awareness about their often neglected contribution in the waste management sector. The campaign also aimed to aware the public about the five R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect (for waste workers) and Recover.

The event kicked off with an awareness rally that was inaugurated by Mr Haribansha Acharya, renowned artist, and Dr. Sumitra Amatya, Executive Director, Solid Waste Management Technical Support Center, Ministry of Urban Development. The rally with 500 participants started from Mangal Bazaar and ended in Ashok Hall, Patan Dhoka via Kwalkhu and Nakka Bahil.

After the rally, a signature campaign was held in the premises of Ashok Party Palace, Patandhoka. The campaign was led by Mr Purna Man Waiba, President, “Samyukta Safai Jagaran", an organization of IWWs formed in coordination with PRISM to provide recognition to waste picking as a decent job and waste pickers as decent workers. The signature campaign collected signatures that showed support in the campaign to generate respect for informal waste workers and their profession as well. Various posters showcasing activities of informal waste workers at their profession were also put on display during the event so as to give a glimpse into the lives and work of IWW’s.

“Today is certainly a good start to recognize the work and the contribution being made by the Informal Waste Workers (IWWs) to manage our Waste. This kind of event is unprecedented in our country. I would like to thank all who participated in the event and would like to request the similar kind of support and more from you in the future. We still have a long way to go and today is a good start. As we start our journey, this will require a great deal of coordination between the Municipalities, Solid Waste Management Technical Support Center and the Ministry of Urban Development. CIUD commits to play a facilitating role to coordinate between the stakeholders” said Pushkar L Shrestha, Technical Advisor of PRISM project and the Executive Director of CIUD.


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