Incinerator for the district hospital in Paro

Until 2020, Bhutan had succeeded in both delaying and preventing a rapid societal spread of Covid-19, and history also showed that their strategy also continued to be successful.

A direct consequence of the pandemic, especially in the beginning, was a greatly increasing amount of waste from the hospitals. Even in the past, this has been a problem as there have been neither routines nor suitable equipment to dispose of various medical waste. The solution would have been primarily to burn the waste in a suitable pit, which is not optimal, neither for the environment nor in terms of safety, risk of infection etc.

The best method of disposal of medical waste from hospitals is incineration under high temperature and under controlled conditions. In addition to being a solution to the immediate problem, such a facility would also in the long run increase safety and significantly improve the environment.

The Huskvarna Rotary Club was therefore asked if we wanted to participate in a project to procure an incinerator for the hospital in Paro for planned installation in December 2020 or spring 2021. The Rotary Foundation (TRF) had also increased the possibilities for financing projects linked to the pandemic which significantly facilitated financing. Huskvarna RK contributed SEK 15,000, the district with USD 15,000 and TRF with the same amount, which meant that the project was fully funded with a total of USD 31,500. In this case, through TRF’s provision and the district’s willing help, we were able to implement a significantly larger project than would otherwise have been possible.

Unfortunately, implementation turned out to be considerably more adventurous than planned. The pandemic hit full force in 2020 and the machine was seriously delayed. First it got stuck in the port of Kolkata, then there were further delays and confusion with transport on to Bhutan. Once the machine entered the country, there were various bureaucratic problems and delays as it was difficult to find installers and inspectors due to the pandemic.

However, in the end all problems were solved thanks to members of the Thimphu Rotary Club who were able to intervene on the spot and straighten out various question marks from the authorities and solve other practical problems on the spot.

By March 2023, installation was complete, staff training completed and the machine in operation.

In the future, waste will be able to be handled safely, efficiently and environmentally friendly, which feels very good!

Johan Schyllander

From left Karma Dorji, Builder, Yeshi Nidup, Treasurer Thimphu RC, Nima T Dorji, Assistant Builder

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