Nima | Gelephu

A group of 12 young entrepreneurs and youth from Gelephu, Samtenling, and Dekiling gewogs came together for a community waste solution dialogue.

Organised by the Youth Advocacy Network Bhutan in Gelephu gewog on January 14, the community engagement programme aimed to develop a local solution to waste issues in rural communities.

The programme is also expected to empower youth and help participants identify issues related to waste, and develop solutions to address waste-related problems.

Youth Advocacy Network Bhutan founder Tshedrup Dorji said involving community members to develop a solution for waste issues will be sustainable.

“This will help in achieving a waste-free society. We have designed the programme in such a way that we encourage participation and let them think of solutions that are sustainable and doable,” he said.

He added that the common waste issues in Sarpang were communities lacking ideas on recycling the waste, littering, and people from urban areas carrying the waste to the open space in rural areas. “We train them to transform the waste into reusable products. There are issues of littering because people are less conscious of the ecological impacts. “People should be educated to manage waste.”

He also claimed the issues regarding waste in urban and rural areas were similar, such as insufficient waste collection services, waste collection facilities, and segregation issues.

The programme was piloted for the first time across 12 gewogs in Sarpang.

The community waste solution dialogue began on January 13 in Gakidling gewog.

A press release from the network stated that there are growing concerns in rural communities about increasing waste in their locality, and limited interventions in rural places to consolidate their efforts in the management of the solid waste.

“Facilitating a public dialogue in the community is crucial to educate, connect, and empower individuals to participate in this process of behavioural changes and policies that will help build a waste-free society,” it stated.

The participants were also provided an opportunity to interact with the social entrepreneurs in the country. They also engage in social media campaigns by posting a personal commitment to reduce waste.