Some 200 youth volunteers from five volunteer groups came together for a cleaning campaign and advocacy on waste management in Thimphu on June 24.

The advocacy and cleaning campaign on waste management was organised by Changjiji youth center, Bhutan Loving and Sharing Youth, Clean Bhutan, DAISAN, CARE Bhutan, Harmony Youth Volunteers, and Dorji International Training Institute.

The volunteers while collecting trash in Changjiji and its peripheral areas also distributed brochures on managing and segregating waste. They collected about 70 sacks of trash.

Considered one of the major activities initiated by the youth centre, the cleaning and advocacy programme organised over three hours covered Changjiji, Changjalu and Olakha areas.

Manager with Changjiji Youth Center Kinley Phub said the Changjiji community face tough time managing waste. “We have learnt that the residents don’t come together easily for cleaning,” he said. “The community lacks awareness on waste management.”

Inadequate awareness on waste management, negligence and a need to organise daily cleaning programmes were challenges observed by the supporters of the campaign.

A volunteer with Bhutan Sharing and Loving Youth, Tshering Wangmo said the response from the people during awareness was satisfactory. “The community has the mind-set of referring the responsibility to manage waste on other persons,” she said.

The event was organised in line with the Changjiji youth center’s inspiration to keep the community clean. The center plans to adopt the community in future.

“The event has brought together youth with a common goal and we hope this would promote volunteerism,” said Kinley Phub.

However, Kezang Tshomo from Clean Bhutan said that there was a need to include the community in the campaign to let them experience and understand the importance of waste management.

“Unless they were involved I feel only awareness and advocacy won’t create any impact,” she said. “The community would think that the group would come to clean their area again.”