Cleaning Thimphu River on World Water Day 2017, Bhutan, 22 March

Bhutan Water Partnership (BhWP) participated the cleaning campaign along Thimphu River conducted under the project ‘Adoption of stream flowing through Thimphu City’ on 22 March to celebrate World Water Day 2017.

The adoption of the stream is a collective effort of different agencies such as National Environment Commission, Thimphu Municipal Authority, Royal Society of Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Bhutan Red Cross Society. To ensure the effectiveness of the project, the full stretch of the Thimphu River, which is heavily polluted by illegal dumping of solid waste, was divided between these institutions. The institutions have given the responsibility of regular cleaning and engaging residents and institutions residing along the riverbank in the process.

The long-term plan of the project includes cleaning the river regularly, frequent monitoring of level of cleanliness of the river and introducing an advocacy programme to raise awareness among public. This is a pilot project and it will be replicated on other rivers depending on its success.

BhWP assisted the project in purchasing tools for cleaning the river and BhWP is in an agreement with the other stakeholders to participate in project monitoring. BhWP incorporated the activity ‘Assessment of impact of increasing waste due to increase trekker on high altitude lake, which is major source of water for downstream Paro and Thimphu’ in its workplan for 2017 and is currently planning to conduct a preliminary assessment on the level of pollution at the high altitude wetland along the druk path trekking routes.