Waste pickers are essential actors in society and the environment. They make their living by recovering valuable recyclables. They are part of the informal workforce involved in managing recyclable waste and diverting it away from landfills. Despite their importance to waste recovery in Nepal, they lack legislative recognition and are not integrated into planning processes. Along with this, there are limited stakeholders working directly with these informal workforces such as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). In addition, two membership-based organizations have been established by the waste pickers themselves for the betterment of waste pickers.
There is a need to have a national network of organizations, where NGOs, waste-pickers organizations, and other relevant stakeholders meet regularly and explore collaborations and connect with the Global Alliance of Waste-pickers. A national network of waste pickers’ organizations is essential for pushing recognition of waste pickers' work at the national level. The national network boosts efforts to include waste pickers in various national-level programs. A few of the successful examples of national coalitions are there in India, Brazil, and Colombia, where waste-pickers have managed to get recognized in law, and have policies friendly toward their work.
CREASION with the support of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing - WIEGO, International Alliance of Waste Picker and Samyukta Safai Jagaran successfully conducted a two-day workshop on "Founding National Network of Waste Pickers Organization in Nepal. " The main objective of the workshop was to build networks and enhance the capacity of organizations, individuals, and local stakeholders to work for the benefit of waste pickers in Nepal.
The first day of the workshop started with learning about the status of waste pickers in Nepal, where they briefly discussed the situational analysis of waste pickers in Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, and Madhesh province. It was then followed by a session showcasing the importance of creating a coalition at the national level, where Mr. Kabir Arora, National Coordinator of the Alliance of Waste Pickers, shared his experience in forming a coalition of waste pickers in different countries, and discussed the Plastics Treaty update and the ongoing work at global level for social protection.
The Second Day of the workshop started with the introduction to Alliance of Indian Waste Pickers by Mr. Kabir Arora, National Coordinator of Alliance of Indian Waste Pickers followed by an experience sharing session of Manwara Begum, President of Safai Sena, Delhi and member of Alliance of Indian Waste Workers via Zoom. It further continued with a panel discussion where the panelist were Shristi Shrestha, Environment Inspector, Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Pradeep Amatya, Head of Environmental Division representative of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Birat Ghimire Head of Environment Division, Bharatpur Metropolitan City, Ashish Shah, Proprietor of Namaste Recycler, Deepson Shreemal Outsource Manager, Himalayan life Plastics; Shanti Tamang, President of Samyukta Safai Jagaran and Ashmita Basnet, Waste Picker.