Cleaning up Mount Everest in Nepal
With so many visitors each year and so many expeditions on the mountain, keeping the environment clean has become a pressing issue. Human waste now poses a serious health risk to locals. “When water seeps through the ground, it looks clean because it’s filtered through the soil. But it has a lot of pathogens due to human waste, which makes it unsafe for the local community,” says Mike Marsolek, associate professor at Seattle University, who is working on the project jointly with Bed Mani Dahal of Kathmandu University.
The idea to find a solution was first conceived around a decade ago. Dan Mazur, a Hillary Medal recipient and a mountain guide who leads expeditions up Everest, was all too aware of the impending problem, ever since commercial expeditions took off in the early ’90s. According to The Himalayan Database, while there were 77 successful ascents between 1985 and 1989, that figure escalated to 634 in 2015-17. Add to that the expedition support staff, and Everest sees a civilisation at base camp during the climbing season each year. Mazur got together with Garry Porter from Engineers Without Borders to conceptualize a biodigester that could convert the human waste into methane gas, which could be used by the local community for cooking.
The Everest Biogas Project has received the endorsement of the UIAA Mountain Protection Award, has been featured in The Economist, on CNN, in the Washington Post, and on Thurston Talks. After extensive research and perfection of the design, the Biogas team are fully engaged in raising awareness of, and funds for construction of the facility near Everest Base Camp in 2019. Please give generously to help deal with harmful impacts of untreated waste on Everest, and please share this appeal with all of your family, colleagues and friends Need more information? Please read down further and contact info@MountEverestFoundation.org . Website: www.CleaningUpMountEverest.org