Meeting at Development Network Ltd, Kathmandu, 2 December 2005
The first programme on this day was to meet Dr. Dinesh Raj Manandhar, Managing Director for the private enterprise Development Network Ltd, and also working with an NGO called Community Development Forum (on the photo to the right along with Staffan Lindberg, SASNET). We were already in contact with Dr. Manandhar, as he has collaborated on research regarding solid waste management, with Professor William Hogland, Dept. of Technology, University of Kalmar, since 2003. Along with two other Swedish researchers, Dr Lennart Mårtensson, School of Engineering, Kristianstad University, and Professor Lennart Mathiasson, Dept. of Analytical Chemistry, Lund University, they have been engaged in a major research project on the issue called ”Analysis of Pollutants from City Dump/Landfills in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, with Emphasis on Heavy Metals and Persistant Organics”, financed by a grant from Sida, the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency. The objective of the research project was to characterise leachate with respect to heavy metals and persistent organics from dump sites in Nepal and to compare with Swedish conditions.
As a next step an International conference is arranged in Kathmandu 11–13 January 2006. The conference titled ”For a better tomorrow: Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries” is organised by Kathmandu University in association with Development Network Pvt. Ltd, and co-organized by the International Foundation for Science (IFS) in Sweden, Kalmar University, the so-called LAQUA group, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and a number of other Nepalese organisations. More information.
|Guna Raj Shrestha||Sanjay N. Khanal|
Dr. Manandhar, who is a civil engineer, met us at the Development Network’s office building in the residential area of New Baneswor. His Development Network colleague Guna Raj Shrestha, a social scientist and Executive Chairperson for Community Development Forum, joined us for a meeting, and so did Dr. Sanjay N. Khanal, Associate Professor and Head of the Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel.
The joint effort by a private company, an NGO, and Kathmandu University to tackle the problem of solid waste management in Nepal is no coincidence. Dr. Manandhar explained that it is part of a strategy to develop a private-public cooperation, involving professionals and academicians, and the coming conference will further strengthen this, and one session will be specially devoted to the real problems facing Kathmandu Municipal Corporation.
|The notice board at Development Network, with information on projects carried out.|
Manandhar worked for many years in the government’s Water department, but decided in 2001 to form the Development Network, that now has around 20 people in the staff. During the four years the company has existed it has actively worked with water and environmental issues, supported NGO’s in capacity building, and collaborated with International organisations and universities, among them the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK.
Waste management in the Kathmandu Valley is a major problem. Manandhar described the present problem with 70 % of waste now thrown in the rivers, 300 tonnes a day, with leakage from landfill dumps, etc, but also solutions being tried to improve the situation.
Dr Khanal heads a department at Kathmandu University much involved in research on water and air pollution, but also on occupational health. The University is a public institution with the Prime Minister of Nepal being its Chancellor. It has its main campus in Dhulikhel, 30 km east of Kathmandu, and a total number of 5 000 students (2 000 in Dhulikhel).