Bagmati is one of the major sources of drinking water and is used by many for bathing and cleansing purposes. With rapid urbanization and population growth, the river has experienced a drastic turn for the worse. Due to lack of legal enforcement for illegal squatters and local polluters, and government negligence in handling the waste of a densely populated municipality, the Bagmati has turned into an open sewer and dumpsite. This has been coupled with rapid deforestation and sand mining in the river, creating soil erosion and landslides, increasing the river’s turbidity and overall degradation.
Pusparaj Simkhada was born at the bank of the River Bagmati. He developed his love for nature by playing on the Bagmati River as a child. His past experiences as a social worker, mentor and teacher allowed him to interact with youths and nurture many environmental leaders. After joining Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) in 2001, he played a vital role in cleaning up the Bagmati River. Now, as the Bagmati River Waterkeeper, Mr. Simkhada will continue to work with local community members to save the Bagmati River.