We Help Preserve Everest
While visiting our world’s highest mountain, climbers and trekkers take away great memories, lots of photos and friends, but leave behind their untreated waste. Due to the remoteness, lack of resources, and infrastructure, the people of the area have no other option than to bury the waste in shallow pits at the site of Gorak Shep, the last outpost before EBC. Over time, pathogens in the untreated waste are carried down the valley by the glacier runoff and leached into the water supply of the villages below, creating a dangerous public health risk.
Our mission is to remove the pathogens from the human waste that is left at EBC by implementing a biogas digester near Gorak Shep, that is simple in design and operation, made from building materials that can be locally sourced, and is robust enough to operate in the extreme climate of the Everest region. Our design also allows for the capture of the biogas that is a by-product of the digester process, that in turn can be used as clean-burning fuel, for free, for the teashop owners of Gorak Shep.
Lakpa Rita Sherpa is a world renowned climber and mountain guide. He grew up near the Khumbu Valley and has and has found the time to make 17 trips to the summit of Everest. In this video Lakpa explains about the waste issues around Everest base camp, the effects they are having on the people who live there, and the solution we are working to implement.
For years, Mt. Everest was littered with waste—discarded food and wrappers, empty oxygen bottles, camping gear, and human waste. In an effort to clean up this famous landmark, the Nepalese government enacted regulations that require climbing parties to remove all their garbage and human waste from the mountain. However, those measures are not enough.
We plan to use biogas technology to build a new type of high-altitute digester. Thousands of biogas digesters operate in Nepal, China and India, so biogas digester design and construction is well understood. The Mt. Everest Biogas Project will construct and operate a biogas digester from BSP-Nepal at temperatures much colder, and will be using only human waste as the input fuel. This has never been done before and has required a systems approach to the ultimate solution as there are many variables to consider.
The implementation of a biogas digester, in such a high altitude and remote setting, will require a great deal of resources. In order to pay for all the building materials, labor, and other costs, we need to raise money through donations.
A donation by you to this project, will not only aid us in helping to keep the drinking water clean for the families who live in the Khumbu Valley, and providing the tea shop owners of Gorak Shep with free, clean burning, biogas, but will also serve as an investment to the sustainability of Everest base camp by helping to restore and preserve this unique and spectacular region of the world.
To donate, or to learn more about how your donation can help the people of the Khumbu Valley in Nepal, please click the link below.
In our blog you can find our most recent updates. Due to the challenging environment at Gorak Shep, the developmet of a special biogas digester is a big undertaking. We have to go through many phases of research, prototyping and analysis before the actual building.
We also post content about interesting related news and projects.
Google Visits Khumbu!
Google recently explored the homeland of the Sherpa: the beautiful Khumbu region and it’s towns. Visit their interactive web project and discover the places that made us fall in love with Nepal!
Follow Nate’s steps as he goes from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu all the way to the remote settlement of Gorak Shep in order to do research on the feasability of the biogas digester project.