The Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO), affirming its pledge to preserve and protect the environment, declared Dzükou Valley, a tourist destination in Kohima district of Nagaland, a plastic-free zone.
Nagaland’s adviser to youth resources and sports department, Zale Neikha, made the official declaration after unveiling a monolith on the National Highway 2 beside the entry point to the valley in Viswema village on Wednesday.
Neikha described Dzükou Valley as one of the most valuable assets of Nagaland besides being a tourist hotspot and the most sought after destination in the state.
He lauded the SAYO for its initiative to protect the valley.
“God bestowed us the unique landscape and ecosystem (Dzükou) and made the people of the region its custodians,” he said and urged all the frontal organisations of the area to take active participation in preserving the picturesque valley.
According to the legislators, the people of the Southern Angami area should take ownership of the SAYO initiative to enforce a plastic-free zone in the valley and set exemplary role by refusing to use, take along or irresponsibly dispose plastic materials.
“To have a clean environment, we need to start from ourselves,” Neikha said.
He also urged the departments concerned to assist in taking up developmental works in the valley without causing harm to the environment, towards creating avenues for improvement of the economy at large.
Expressing serious concern over global warming, Neikha called for the need to deliberate the issue seriously and work out a solution to further protect and preserve the environment.
The head of Nagaland tourism department, Akhale Khamo, described the Dzükou Valley as not only a destination for foreign and domestic tourists but also as an environment educational institute.
Khamo said Dzükou Valley has become one of the most visited places in the state and stressed the need to preserve it.
Appreciating the SAYO for coming up with the initiative, she said it is the collective responsibility of all individuals to control the menace of plastic pollution for healthy environment.
SAYO president Zakeleto Tsükrü spoke on how the organisation took the decision to adopt the valley and make its free of plastic and littering.
He said 150 volunteers undertook a three-day clean-up Dzükou drive from May 21 to 23.
Tsükrü said as part of the declaration, a monolith was erected to signify the organisation’s pledge which will not only inform visitors of what is being enforced but also act as a structure to remind the community of its pledge.