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Nepal waste workers campaign for recognition and respect - newspaper clipping

Nepalese waste workers campaign for recognition and respect (newspaper clipping in Nepalese).

By Srijana Devkota
Project Manager, PRISM Project
Practical Action, Nepal.

Nepal – March 25, 2013.

PRISM project organised a Behaviour Change Campaign (BCC) on 25 March 2013 with the objective of garnering respect and recognition for waste worker’s contributions to the solid waste management sector in Nepal, with a brand message, “Informal Waste Workers: Deserving respect for their contributions.”

It was a first of its kind BCC campaign targeting waste workers in Nepal and was a grand success, with the participation of about 750 people. The event was able to meet its objective by grabbing the attention of a huge number of people and media personnel. The programme was fully supported by Government of Nepal, the Delegation of European Union to Nepal, Solid Waste Management and Technical Support Centre (SWMTSC), Municipalities of Kathmandu Valley, distinguished guests from different sectors, non-state actors involved in Solid Waste Management and hundreds of informal waste workers. The informal waste workers participating in the event were excited and enthusiastic about the event and expressed that they were a part of such a programme for the first time in their lives.

PRISM project has identified more than 5,000 Informal waste workers in the Kathmandu valley and about 46 informal self-help groups. The BCC campaign included a Walkathon, Signature campaign and consultative workshop to RESPECT and RECOGNISE informal waste workers in Solid Waste Management.

The workshop included the following activities:

  • Walkathon (general public and waste pickers walked together with banners and play cards with the message: RESPECT and RECOGNITION) 
  • Signature campaign (signatures were collected from people of all walks of life)
  • Poster presentations and public service announcements (highlighting waste picker’s contribution) were screened/aired
  • In the opening of the workshop, the signature banner was handed over to the chief guest of the workshop, Executive Director Dr. Sumitra Amatya, Solid Waste Management and Technical Support Centre (SWMTSC), Government of Nepal.
  • Presentations by waste workers about social recognition, behaviour change, formation of Network and Cooperative (SASAJA)
  • Theatrical performance (highlighting the contribution and health aspects of waste workers)
  • Remarks by special Guests and chief guest