David Seddon was a member of the team that designed the original Rural Access Programme (RAP I) back in 1999 and then of the team that implemented the project from 2000 to 2005. He writes “I was very excited to be able, in February 2017, to visit the Far West (with a group from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) with whom I was working) and to drive north from Dadeldhura via Sahajpur (Kailali District) to Dipayal (Doti District) and beyond, up rugged RAP 3 roads that looked as though they were already bedding in well. I was particularly pleased to see, at one point, a road building group (RBG) consisting entirely of women, working on the side of the road, as we in the original RAP team had envisaged so long ago.
But we always thought that ‘roads alone are not enough’; and so RAP has, from the outset, included a complementary programme of social and economic development interventions and activities. Now, over the next few years (2017 to 2019), the new RAP3 CONNECT programme will be building on these achievements to link a new set of local producers to dealers and processors in the region, with a view to adding value and promoting market relations, creating a new generation of service providers and small businesses, and even contributing to the growth of exports. It even plans to create a ginger processing centre at Sahajpur, where we stopped on our return journey to investigate the local produce displayed on the road-side, apparently destined for export from the region".