Staff members of Pakistan Wetlands Programme took the opportunity of being at one of the most beautiful mountain resorts in Pakistan to spread the message of environmental responsibility. On Sunday, 11 July, 2010, Nasir Malik, Coordinator Communications and Awareness Raising, and Dr. Humaira Khan, Wetlands Specialist based in Gilgit went up to Naltar, a stunningly beautiful mountain village and resort about an hour’s drive from Gilgit. Their mission was to conduct a clean-up campaign there and impart environmental awareness to the people.
Because of its proximity to Gilgit, this place high up in the Karakoram mountains, has become a weekend getaway for its urban and increasingly prosperous population. Specifically in summer, when temperatures hit their highest in Gilgit, Naltar becomes over-crowded on weekends.
When the PWP staff reached Naltar on this particular Sunday, they found many people from Gilgit milling about and enjoying themselves on the huge, grassy slopes in the middle of the resort area. Litter was everywhere, marring the beautiful greenery. Without wasting any time, the staff set about mobilising people on the spot, asking them to join them in picking up litter.
Some of the people showed reluctance in engaging in this activity but many others joined PWP in garbage collection. The staff and these volunteers combed the entire area, picking up wrappers, paper and plastic wherever they found them. By setting an example personally, they motivated others to do the same.
Within an hour, these intrepid environmental warriors had cleaned up the entire slope and all those wrappers shining in the sun were there no more.
Along with garbage pick-up, PWP staff also engaged in conversations with parties of picnickers and requested them to take care of the gorgeous landscape around them by not littering. Many of them were responsive and said that they would pass along this message to others.
At the end of the campaign, PWP brought back the filled bags and disposed them properly in the solid waste disposal system of Gilgit city.
Dr. Humaira Khan
Pakistan Wetlands Programme, Gilgit
For further details:
Coordinator, Awareness-raising and Communication
Pakistan Wetlands Programme
House No. 62, Street No. 25, Sector F-10/1, Islamabad
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com