Sanu Maiya Maharjan
The Bishnumati River originates at Tokha on Shivapuri Mountain, northwest of Kathmandu. It is a holy river for both Hindu and Buddhist people. Literally, Bishnumati means the beloved river of Lord Vishnu. The river is used for drinking water, irrigation and animal farming, as well as for ritual ceremonies of the ethnic Newar community. Over the last 35 years, the Bishnumati has suffered from encroachment and water diversions and is showing the pollution impacts of urbanization, poor planning, and illegal sand mining.
Sanu Maiya Maharjan graduated from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, with a master’s degree in Environmental Science with Distinction in 2016, and has studied and worked on water and environmental systems throughout the country. With Trishuli River Waterkeeper and Nepal River Conservation Trust, Sanu coordinated the 2nd National River Summit for Nepal in March 2017, that brought over 250 stakeholders together for an inclusive dialog on the future management of river systems in Nepal. Sanu lives near the Bishnumati River and is deeply connected with the people of her community.