Kathmandu – Tilicho, a water lake in Manang situated at the highest altitude in the world is the site of attraction of tourists from both home and abroad. The lake based in the Nisyang Rural Municipality-9 is situated on the Annapurna mountain range at an altitude of 4,919 meters above the sea-level. This natural water lake, an example of beauty and essence continues to welcome tourists in all seasons. The growing inflow of tourists started raising the environment issues here.
Of late, piles of waste materials around the lake and on the sides of the trekking route leading to it have drawn the concerns of people who are worried over the protection and conservation of the beautiful lake. The common sighting of waste materials left by visitors such as water bottles and food packages along the route to lake and the vicinity is obviously giving unpleasant look.
The area from Khansar of Manang to the Tilicho Lake Base Camp is largely used for throwing trashes by tourists. Though on the initiations of the Annapurna Area Conservation Project, local hotel entrepreneurs and locals, dustbins have been placed at multiple locations along the route to lake and around it, they normally remain unused by domestic tourists.
Experiences of witnesses are that foreign tourists are conscious about the proper management of waste. They use dustbins to manage waste materials, but this practice is lacked among domestic tourists who do not feel qualm to throw them in open. Hotel entrepreneurs complained that such practice has raised the issue of environmental protection. He stressed the need of making them (domestic tourists) aware of the proper management of garbage to keep lake surrounding clean.
Trekking guide Ram Adhikari’s experiences are that the lake area is becoming polluted year by year. Adhikari who arrives here every year finds the level of wastes gradually growing. Timely interventions from authorities concerned are needed to stop haphazard throwing of garbage, otherwise, the lake will be littered quickly, locals say.