Downstream Stories

India, Naitwar


Naitwar, India

Naitwar is the entry point to Govind Ballabh Panth Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. It is at the intersection of different ranges, close to a tourist hotspot and climbing basecamp. 

This treacherously hilly, remote area, provides habitat for endangered snow leopards. Dotted with tiny hamlets, numbering no less than 42, farmers have historically herded cattle, but are increasingly turning to tourism and cash crops.

With apple orchards replacing regular grain fields, dependency on town businesses has grown over the last 20 years, with plastic-packed groceries becoming the norm. Dumpyards of non-biodegradables are eating away at the delicate mountains and their fragile ecosystems around the villages. 

Burning of plastic is a major mode of disposal, and toxic fumes spiral up with regularity. Inhabitants, cattle, forest and wildlife are silently suffering.

Downstream Community Stories

Cows eat plastic waste in the town’s stream.

Locals say that plastic is destroying the waterways and that cattle is eating it.

Resident describes how towsnpeople dump plastic with no regard for where it will go.

Hidden from the main street, plastic waste accumulates behind homes.

Local farmer explains how single-use plastic does not decompose.

Local farmer tends to her trees.

Schoolgirls are also affected by the accumulating plastic waste in their community.

Farmers harvest grain near the toxic dumpsites.

An apple farmer explains how the plastic bags do not decompose and when they end up in her fields, it starts to smell. She says that there is a need for waste collection.

The apple farmer says that waste is starting to get collected in her village, which reduces the incineration of waste and the negative health effects that go with it.

The apple farmer trims apple trees.

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Shot on location with the help of Waste Warriors.

Waste Warriors has helped set up systems in 4 villages at Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and NP which collect household dry waste, segregates in staging houses in the village before sending them down to the nearest Material Recovery Facility (MRF) which is 200 kms away in Dehradun. Waste Warriors is looking to bring the 42 villages under this basic collection and transportation system which will revitalize the Govind landscape.  

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