Monday, June 17, 2024

Earth Day 2024: ENFOGAL plans to implement India’s first Zero Waste Village in Ukhrul


EKHON | UKHRUL: Earth Day perhaps is a poignant reminder of the responsibility humans vehemently disregarded towards environmental care and protection. Or perhaps it is also an “opportunity to reflect on our environmental impact and to commit to making sustainable choices that will ensure the well-being of Earth for present and future generations”. Earth Day 2024 theme ‘Planet vs. Plastics’ truly resonated with the world that is reeling under major environmental crisis.

Earth Day celebrated every April 22 is an unwavering commitment to “call for the end of plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 and an ultimate goal of building a plastic-free future for generations to come.” At this juncture Environmental Force at Grass Root Level (ENFOGAL), an NGO based in Ukhrul District has been working towards protecting and reviving our crumbling environment to bring about sustainable environment in the border district of Manipur. They are focused on addressing the pertaining environmental issues like waste management, climate change, wildlife conservation and water conservation at grassroot level. ENFOGAL in Ukhrul is synonymous with environmental warriors.

Committed to play a crucial role in environmental mitigation, ENFOGAL was initiated by young aspiring group of likeminded youngsters in 2016. It aimed to “impart knowledge of solid waste management and those issues pertaining to environmental degradation with a special focus on youth and school/college-going students to understand the profound need for awareness and a sense of consciousness for the unborn environment at grass root level.”

In the district that has seen growing concerns in waste management and climate change, ENFOGAL has been organizing awareness programs, cleanliness drive, tree plantation drive, fieldwork, jungle trail and environmental campaigns.

EKHON spoke to Patrick Shangh, Co-founder of ENFOGAL to better understand the organization that many people have heard but not enough. He addressed the burning issues, upcoming plans and activities and shared possible solutions to tackle waste management in Ukhrul.

He revealed to EKHON that they are set to implement first Zero Waste Model in India at Shirui village in near future. They ultimately planned to spread the model village to other villages to achieve sustainable waste management and protect environment. This is part of their more concrete project that will have long term impact on the environment.

Waste management is a burning issue in Ukhrul and according to the environment activist, to combat the issue of waste management in Ukhrul, it should start from home through source reduction and source segregation of waste, asserting that this will solve half the problem of waste management. For decades now, Autonomous District Council (ADC) has been struggling to manage waste with no proper system and it has created further environmental issues. To make Ukhrul sustainable, he strongly believed that source reduction and source segregation of wastes at the grassroot level will bring change and solution to the problem.

While the Earth Day called for reusing the plastic for sustainable Earth, in the context of ENFOGAL, Patrick said it is a zero waste campaign and completely banned the use of plastic. It encouraged people to avoid eating biscuits, chips, cold drinks, rather encouraged to consume food and beverages that are locally produced in the region. The alternative to using plastic are paper bags and other natural products however, he also admitted that it is difficult to look for more eco-friendly alternative and ban plastic altogether, rather he suggested reusing of plastic to minimize the use.

Patrick also informed that through the funding of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) they are working for wildlife protection especially with Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant, State bird of Manipur. Recently, camera traps were fitted in Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant Community Reserve in Jessami with an aim to record the presence of Nongin and to spread awareness on the importance of conservation of Nongin. Mention may be made that Nongin is a near extinct bird that are reportedly found only in three villages of Ukhrul district namely, Jessami, Razai and Shirui village. For this unique project, promotional campaigns, both online and offline will be initiated soon.

ENFOGAL SQUAD, Patrick said is a student-based project for which they have engaged five schools in Ukhrul with selected 20 students. Recently, birdwatching was organized with Sentinel College and St Joseph’s College students, the activity of which will be done every Saturday going forward. The Squad also involved in other activities like cleanliness drive, installation of dustbin, screening of documentary, training of water testing kits for water management among others. Except for few selected projects, most of the activities of ENFOGAL are self-funded.

As part of Earth Day, Enfogal planted peach saplings. Sharing in their social media platform, Instagram, they wrote, “Today, Enfogal is proud to be a part of the Planet vs Plastic movement by planting peach saplings all around our premises. By nurturing these saplings, we are not only combating plastic pollution but also contributing to a greener, healthier planet for generations to come.”

Apart from ENFOGAL, Volunteers for Village Development (VVD) is also another NGO based in Ukhrul that is fervently working towards making the environment more sustainable through water conservation, water preservation etc in the region.

(Environmental Force at Grass Root Level (ENFOGAL) is a Non-Governmental Organization based in Ukhrul District, Head office at Green Land Ukhrul Manipur. It is registered under Manipur Society Registration Act 1989, bearing Reg. No.96/UD/SR/2016. Since November 14th, 2016.
Phone No: +919366843652/+917085704015


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