Figure 1: Open burning of the household waste in Panjikent, Tajikistan
This article highlights a recent experience of WEI Associate, Mr. Nimesh Dhakal.
Nimesh recently completed a 7-month assignment on solid waste management in rural Tajikistan. Nimesh was recruited by CESVI with the objective of improving existing practices of solid waste management in rural Tajikistan. Nimesh worked in the towns of Ayni and Panjikent in close cooperation with local authorities (Hukumat to head of village). Some of the major issues affecting solid waste management in Tajikistan were the rural settings, poor infrastructures, bad access roads and, above all, the lack of awareness among the communities.
Nimesh addressed these issues by conducting orientation to the government authorities and related stakeholders on the different possible option for proper management, provided trainings to the communities on household composting and campaigns to stop open-burning practices, conducting mass cleanup campaign to clean existing dumping sites and advocacy and training in school for formation of eco-clubs and their effective mobilization. By the end of his assignment, significant improvements could be found including, for example, improved practices and number of communities practicing household composting, developed plan for the authorities for the construction of waste deposit sites in the rural areas of Ayni and Panjikent, clean rivers and gullies.
Nimesh greatly enjoyed working side-by-side with the Tajik colleagues and hopes to return one day. Despite improvements in solid waste management that were realized during Nimesh’s assignment, many challenges remain to be addressed.