Come December 9 and every citizen in the country will be out cleaning the roadside drains and environment around them. The day will be declared a national holiday. All in an effort to make Bhutan the cleanest country in the world!

This is done to mark the 10th Anniversary of His Majesty The King’s accession to the Golden Throne. It is the people’s wish to gift His Majesty The King not only green but also clean Bhutan.

Dzongdags have been asked to take the lead role in this good national endeavour which will cover all the villages, chiwogs, gewogs, neighbourhoods, drungkhags, towns, dzongs, monasteries, trekking routes, streams and rivers, among others. They will also submit different programmes and strategies to sustain this national initiative.

As Prime Minister said, the real goal of the programme is to make Bhutan the cleanest country in the world. Given our small population, achieving this nation goal is not difficult. For indeed, this too is nation building.

This a good programme because waste management is fast becoming an issue, especially in the urban centres. Our drains and backyards are filled with household and other rubbish. Landfills are overflowing with waste. With population growth, the problem could become serious in the future.

It is also an important programme because Bhutan is a hotspot for increasing number of tourists. We have sparkling waters and pristine forests, flora and fauna. We too have some of the tallest unclimbed mountains. With traditions and cultures intact, we offer our visitors the best of Bhutan. We must also offer them a clean and safe Bhutan.

The question is how do we sustain this national programme. It begins with individual initiative. If everyone cares about waste, sustaining the programme should not be a problem. We pick up a piece of rubbish floating by the roadside; we carefully segregate and pack our household waste so that they can be recycled.

Clean Bhutan is a happy Bhutan. It is about the health of the nation. Let’s make our Drukyul, clean, green, safe and happy.