WD News: An all-women team has come together to address the menace of plastic pollution caused in water bodies, specifically rivers, under the project “Tackling Plastic Pollution in the Ganga Basin”.
The project is initiated by the Centre for Global Affairs and Public Policy (CGAPP), a non-profit, independent organisation instituted in 2021. As a beginning, CGAPP has invited an all-women team to carry out applied research to map the presence of plastic on the land, in the water, at the land-water interface, and among different stakeholders. The research, planned for April to November 2023, includes scholars from multi-disciplinary backgrounds coming from across the country. The WforW Foundation and the Water Resources Council of the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (WICCI-WRC) joined the research as knowledge partners.
The research is inspired by a 2019 National Geographic Society project “Plastic: Source to Sea”, in which an all-women expedition team, led by Heather Koldewey and Jenna Jambeck, traversed the Ganga Basin before and after the monsoon season and used rapid assessment methods for research. A major outcome of the project is the ‘Methods Toolkit’ which laid the foundation for the current research. Other outcomes, such as the physical quantification and classification of plastic typology, guide the current research to build upon the existing knowledge with detailed social-institutional engagement to understand the problems and seek solutions to pollution.
The River Ganga will be studied at Rishikesh-Haridwar, Prayagraj, Varanasi, and the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh at representative sites to understand the nature of plastic pollution and seek solutions with the respective stakeholders of the region. Each location involves week-long research termed as expedition by the all-women team, followed by a two-day expo to invite the start-ups from across the country and the local stakeholders to initiate a dialogue between them for a continuous engagement solution to pollution.
The first leg of the expedition and expo was recently conducted from April 24–30. The research expedition took place on 101 kilometres from Devprayag traversing through Kaudiyala, Tapovan, Rishikesh Muni ki Reti, Rishikesh Triveni Ghat, Gohri Mafi, Haridwar Har ki Pauri, Haridwar Main, Kankhal, and Kangri.
More than 20 water samples and over 20 sediment samples were taken, and over 100 surveys and 50 expert interviews were conducted.
The team is now gearing up for the next leg of Prayagraj and Varanasi.
I am an environmentalist fresher and knowing the hazardous effect of plastic pollution, I would like to be a valuable contribution to the cause.
Please do let me know if there is still a chance for me to be a part of the team