City-based environmental NGO Anti Pollution Drive Foundation (APDF) has entered into an agreement with Bengaluru-based Hasiru Dala to implement a long-term project of ‘depolluting’ River Nethravathi and River Gurupura, the two lifelines of Mangaluru.
An MoU on the project was signed by Nalini Shekar, co-founder and executive director of Hasiru Dala, and Abdullah A Rehman, APD founder-chief.
“Hasiru Dala has extensive experience in solid waste management in many cities of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. By bring the team members to Mangaluru, our city shall benefit from a time-tested and streamlined model of solid waste management,” said Rehman.
The APDF team and the Hasiru Dala team had been working on this collaboration for the past three months. The next stage of this collaboration is to conduct a scientific study and bring out an action plan within three months.
“The Hasiru Dala believes that ragpickers are the first line of defence to prevent plastic reaching our waters. Recognising their contribution to solid waste management of the city creates a space formally in the local urban waste management system to facilitate predictable income for waste pickers and other informal workers in the waste sector,” said Nalini Shekar.
“Gurupura and Nethravathi rivers are highly polluted by the time they join the Arabian Sea. While chemical pollution in the rivers has many sources, one of the sources contributed by every citizen directly or indirectly in Mangaluru is the dumping of solid waste, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable. There is a need for urgent action to prevent dumping of plastic items in the ocean,” Rehman said.
“Hasiru Dala and APDF have jointly identified points in the city and till around 30 kilometres of Mangaluru and will address the pollution of water due to solid waste management. Another important reason is a poorly organised informal waste economy that supports recycling industry in and around Mangaluru. Hence, efforts will be made to streamline the informal waste economy with the help of waste pickers,” he added.
“An awareness campaign, in collaboration with the citizens of Mangaluru, will be organised. The NGOs will work with the MCC and other urban local bodies for better waste segregation in wards that are responsible for polluting the rivers. They will also organise the waste pickers and create an opportunity for waste pickers to become waste entrepreneurs,” Rehman said.