Solid Waste Management in Ayubia National Park
Ayubia National Park is located within the Western Himalayan global eco-region and has a very rich biodiversity, providing an excellent habitat to important plant and wildlife species. The park is one of the most popular tourist hill resorts in Pakistan, with approximately 250,000 tourists visiting annually, especially during the summer season. The Pipeline Track from Dunga Galli to Ayubia (4km) is trekked by the many tourists through the Moist Temperate Forest, providing scenic views. However, the improper disposal of waste in the area is quickly destroying its touristic appeal and natural beauty. Furthermore, it has a great ...view middle of the document...
• Galliat Development Authority (GDA) is the government department engaged in sanitary work in and around the area but they have no proper disposal mechanism due to lack of resources.
• On the Pipeline Track, 2 sanitary workers are hired by the wildlife department to pick up waste manually and are paid 15,000 rupees per month. They walk along the track and pick up any waste visible, putting it in a plastic shopper bag.
• There are litter bins located at regular intervals, one at each of the various rest points along the track, with ‘USE ME’ written on them.
• All the waste from the litter bins and that collected by hand are put in a big dustbin back at base in Dunga Galli, which GDA collects daily in the summer season.
• There is no sorting of the waste nor proper disposal by GDA, they then dump it near to the forest area in ditches.
General Observations: The solid waste situation is being managed far better along the Pipeline Track area of the park. There was not much litter evident along the 4km stretch and the little there was, was promptly picked up by the sanitary worker who was on shift. The real problem lies in the areas outside of the track which is under GDA control, where there were mass amounts of waste visible that had been thrown everywhere in the forest area, on slopes and directly outside restaurants and hotels, which was disgraceful. Ultimately this dire situation is down to the careless attitude of tourists and locals.
• Citizens are ignorant to the correct ways of disposing waste and the resulting environmental problems.
• No signage along the track or in other areas of the park to increase awareness among tourists on how to correctly dispose their litter.
• Different types of waste are not collected separately so potentially valuable recyclable materials are lost.
• There are no controlled sanitary landfill sites- waste is dumped near population settlements and in the forests which is not appropriate so an alternative place needs to be allocated.
• There is no advanced collection or transportation technique along the track- clearly a limit to the amount of waste 2 people can collect by hand on a 4km track, and it is impossible to collect rubbish which people have thrown off the slopes deep down into the forest.
• The authorities do not provide resources needed by wildlife department for proper management- have ignored the waste management proposal put forward.
• Ditches filled with waste, or waste dumped outside hotels creates an eye sore and bad smell, polluting the beautiful environment.
• Rainwater passing through the solid waste mixed with runoff contaminates the water, causing health problems in low land areas- water borne diseases.
• Non bio-degradable waste thrown affects the growth of vegetation badly and causes erosion.
• Warning on the ticket for the track- 'littering and polluting' is...