Nepal’s capital stank for more than a fortnight before Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) decided to resume garbage collection this week with the Department of Roads agreeing to repair the route to the Sisdole landfill site, 30km away.
Kathmandu’s only landfill Sisdole has already reached its maximum capacity, and every monsoon the rains damage the access road to the site with the locals having to navigate in knee-deep sludge. The overpowering stench from the heaps of garbage is enough to make residents sick.
“Our water sources have been contaminated and farms are infertile. The road leading up to here is in a sorry state and yet the concerned people pay no heed,” says Bimala Balami of Sisdole.
“From sunrise to sunset that mountain of garbage is all we see, we inhale the bad smell more than we do oxygen,” she adds.
This is echoed by her neighbour Sangita Balami: “The odour from the garbage dumped here is there all hours of every day, there is no respite, people are getting sick.”
The residents started a protest when a 70-year-old woman died on 22 August, attributed to a possible cholera outbreak. The local authorities brokered a deal with an agitating group obstructing the movement of vehicles with a 14-point agreement on Wednesday when the cholera suspicion was proven to be unfounded.