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Following the heals of the last year’s Bagmati River Festival, the Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) and the Friends of the Bagmati jointly organized the 2nd Bagmati River Festival on August 23. Over 35 river guides and more than 100 rafting enthusiasts, environmentalists, tourists, journalists and even two Nepalese movie stars donned protective gloves and face masks and traveled down a section of the Bagmati River, right through the heart of Nepal's capital city.

This excursion was the key event of the Bagmati River Festival, which aimed to draw attention to the river's sorry plight, and prompt the community and the Government to take action and start cleaning up the river.

The day began at Sundarijal, where the kayakers negotiated through pristine rapids on the Kayaking Race with worth prizes of thousands of Nepalese rupees. They kayaked down into Gujeswori and Tilganga, where the rafters joined them, the pollution that was the impetus for the excursion. Together, the rafters and the kayakers floated down Nepal's holiest yet most ecologically damaged river until they reached Sankhamul. 


Festival goers, that included the Nepalese Movie stars Dilip Rayamajhi and Niruta  Singh then participated in a cultural program, distributed prizes to the 1st, 2nd and the 3rd position holders of the Kayaking Race and listened to environmental speeches and the performance of the musical bands.

Festival brainchild and Nepal River Conservation Trust President, Megh Ale, told that he was completely satisfied with the awareness the festival generated, "but the real success would be felt only if local people as well as the policy makers realise the need to keep the Bagmati River clean."

It is the NRCT's vision to see children and fish swimming in the Bagmati, to see pilgrims taking a holy bath in the Bagmati without any hesitation and to have all the residents of Kathmandu Valley love and respect this beautiful river.  

NRCT believes this festival will be a place for everyone to display and announce their commitment and concern about Bagmati.  It hopes more people will be made aware of what's happening and what each individual can do to revive this beautiful river. NRCT urges all of you to consider this festival as a positive effort in our goal to save Bagmati and fully participate to make this and other future programs a success.

Unfortunately, it is human mismanagement that has led to the Bagmati being horribly polluted with sewerage, industrial pollution, human waste and garbage.

The river guides and kayakers were also enthusiastic about the local community's response to the festival. "The kids were really excited to see rafts going down the river," they said.

NRCT believes that people can help save the Bagmati River by treating all waste water with a septic tank, not throwing garbage into the river, composting all organic matter at home and joining a local organisation that is working towards improving Kathmandu's most important river.


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