The government of Japan is providing a grant assistance of approximately Rs 12.432 million for cleaning up the Bagmati River in Gokarna area to the northeast of Kathmandu.
The Society for Mutual aid, Networking, Environment, Education and Development (SOMNEED), a non-government organization based in Japan, will provide technical and financial support to its partner agency SOMNEED-Nepal to implement the project in participation of local communities, according to a statement by SOMNEED-Nepal.
“This is a rare opportunity to clean up the river. The allocated budget will be utilized properly,” said Devendra Basnet, project manager of SOMNEED-Nepal, an NGO devoted in community and capacity development work.
The project aims to reduce contamination in the Bagmati river through construction of decentralized wastewater treatment systems in three different communities of Gokarna Municipality. The grant contract is scheduled to be signed and exchanged this month. In the first phase, wastewater treatment facilities will be constructed, according to officials.
Basnet said, more than 200 households in the area will benefit from the facility. “The treatment facility will clean up up to 80 percent of the dirt from the river water. It will filter the solid residue completely and the water can be used in fields and plantations. Among other things, the facility will bring a huge relief to the farmers who completely depend on rainwater for irrigation,” said Basnet.
On the other hand, the project also focuses on capacity-building of the locals, who will be managing the facility once the construction is complete. SOMNEED-Nepal will impart training to the locals on managing the plant and environment of the Bagmati River, practical waste management, and methods to test the quality of water among other things.
“Currently we are trying to work in coordination with the Gokarna Municipality and they are positive about their participation,” said Basnet. The project is to be completed by February 2016, but Basnet claimed that they will complete it by the end of this year.