The massive earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck in Nepal on 25 April 2015, followed by a series of aftershocks hugely affected the communities within our working areas, the three VDCs (Chaurikharka, Namche and Khumjung) of Khumbu Region. In response to this devastation, the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) reviewed its annual program, and had made the following decisions.
1. SPCC announces the cancellation of 2015 annual cleanup and awareness raising campaign scheduled for June, and decided to provide the allocated budget for this year’s cleanup campaign as earthquake relief fund. The executive committee decided to provide a relief fund of Rs. 1,800,000 (Eighteen lakhs) to the affected communities of the three VDCs: Chaurikharka, Namche and Khumjung as immediate support.
2. Many of our staffs have also suffered major physical damages to their personal property because of the earthquake. SPCC decided to provide a financial support equivalent to a month salary to our permanent staffs, and also provide financial assistance to our Icefall Doctors based on their loss.
3. In addition to the immediate relief support to our staff and the affected communities of Khumbu Region, we are equally concerned about the damages on the major trekking trails caused by the earthquake. SPCC will join hands with concerned local stakeholders, Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone Management Committee (SNP BZMC), Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) and Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to maintain the trekking trails before the onset of autumn trekking season.
4. The earthquake has caused major damages to our head office in Namche, station office in Toktok, seasonal office at Everest base camp and our waste management facilities in various parts of Khumbu Region. Our priority this year will be to reconstruct and maintain our offices and facilities to resume our regular activities.
5. Despite the chaotic situation, SPCC retrieved all the debris from Khumbu glacier and brought down to Namche waste station. Our garbage management team has received a total of 15,985 kgs burnable garbage, 1843 kgs tins/aluminum, 304 kgs bottles, 16 kgs epi gas and 9 kgs batteries from expedition groups at base camp. In addition, our icefall doctors have collected approximately 4,000 kgs of debris scattered over the glacier by the 25th May avalanche at Everest Base Camp. Besides the annual cleanup campaign, all our regular waste management activities for this year will continue.
Lastly, the SPCC family would like to thank all individuals, CBOs, I/NGOs, Government agencies who have come forward to support the affected communities of Khumbu region in this difficult time.