RAP3 MHLR project field team organised an orientation programme for 4 new Local Road User Committee (LRUCs) groups from 14th Aug 2019 to 5th Sept 2019 along the MHLR corridor
RAP3 MHLR has signed a contract with Action Works Nepal (AWON) to provide training on the sanitary pad making process enabling easy access of reusable pads for Road Building Groups (RBG) members. As RAP3 MHLR employs over 2000 people from the local community to build rural roads, 50% of RBGs are women and menstrual hygiene is an essential issue that needs to be addressed. RAP3 MHLR in coordination with AWON conducted a three day training workshop at Bama from 5th to 7th September 2019. 50 women from 25 groups attended the training. The service provider along with the pad making workshop has also provided training on menstrual hygiene to the RBG members. During the training, we asked individual woman in confidence whether they use pad/ cloth during mensuration and we found that 39 women out of 50 have never used pad/cloth in their life. After this training, we hope that these women will be able to make their own reusable pads that could enable them to maintain menstrual hygiene and ensure more income is generated through their regular attendance at work.
Now, the team will conduct the same 3 day training session in Luma (Mugu), and Bohorabada.(Humla).
Rural Access Programme 3, Mugu Humla Link Road (MHLR) project introduced the Maintenance and Resilience Pilot Component at a one-day Engagement Workshop organized on the 6th September 2019, in Simkot, Humla. Altogether 21 invitees from 7 Palikas including Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons and Chief Administrative Officers from Rural Municipalities participated in the workshop. Mr. Dan Bahadur Rawat, Chief of DCC Humla chaired the workshop, while, Mr. Kamal Kumar Adhikari, acting Infrastructure Development Director from Karnali Province Government and Mr. Lekh Nath Bhattarai from MoFAGA attended as guests.
Mr. Kamal Kumar Adhikari in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of road maintenance and optimum utilization of budget, whereas, Mr. Lekh Nath Bhattarai focused on the necessity of coordination between Federal, Provincial and Local Government to avoid duplication of work. MRPC Engineering Advisor Mr. Hom Nath Lamsal delivered a presentation about MRPC objectives and the scope of the pilot to be implemented in Karnali Province for this fiscal year. Various presentations were made by the the province support teams on PTMP/MTMP, RMG/SMG and the pilot Technical Support Forum. A discussion was also held on the four partite agreement to be signed by DoLI, MRPC, IDO and Pailkas. In a separate session, participants were split to perform a group exercise and key findings were presented. In the closing session, each representative from Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons and Chief Administrative Officer thanked MRPC for such an informative event and welcomed MRPC to support Palikas with their MTMP preparation and road maintenance works.
A one-day municipal level engagement workshop has been successfully completed on 10th September in Dolpa district. This workshop was the 6th workshop of Maintenance and Resilience Pilot Component (MRPC) scheduled by RAP3 MHLR. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the Maintenance and Resilience Pilot Component and its activities to relevant stakeholders at the local level. It was also an opportunity to collect information related to understanding, initiation and preparation of Municipal Transport Master Plans (MTMP) by the Rural/Municipalities to help identify key development issues/problems relating to municipal road networks. Deputy Mayors, Chairpersons, Vice-Chairpersons, Ward Chairpersons and Chief Administrative Officers from Rural/Municipalities of Dolpa attended the workshop. Participants raised various queries related to budget allocation, preparation of MTMP, RAP3 MHLR support to local levels and the road maintenance activities using Road Maintenance Group (RMGs) were discussed.
Participants were also informed about the range of support through the MRPC on MTMP preparation and routine/recurrent road maintenance activities. In the workshop, Vice-Mayor of Tripurasundari Municipality focused on the importance of MTMP preparation, prioritisation of roads based on clear criteria and construction of roads with well engineering design and procedures rather than relying solely on the influence of political leaders. Likewise, Chairperson of Jagdulla Rural Municipality emphasised the importance of road maintenance and the necessity for RAP3 MHLR to support the preparation of MTMPs. He added that all Palikas have to allocate budgets for road maintenance to ensure their sustainability. Mahesh Chandra Neupane, Programme Coordinator RAP3 MHLR (DoLI), emphasised awareness raising for all Palikas on the importance of MTMPs, budget allocation and road maintenance activities. Issues and concerns raised by the participants were clarified by Mahesh Chandra Neupane, Gopi Chandra Upreti, MRPC Province Support Manager and Laxman Bhakta Dahi Shrestha, Central Stakeholder Coordinator on behalf of RAP3 MHLR.
RAP3 MHLR believes that the kind of environment our employees work in has a massive impact on how they feel and how they perform their job. We have a diverse group of employees from different backgrounds and cultures. The RAP inclusivity study in 2017 has provided evidence of areas where RAP performs well but also areas where we could go further to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. To help work on these areas, we have six activities planned for the next 6 months and the assigned groups will present an activity each month on the following themes.
- Code of conduct, safeguarding and e-learning
- RAP harmony month: Celebrating harmony
- Bridging the generational gap in diversity and inclusion
- Team building event
- International men’s day
- Mental health in the workplace
This month, the Bronze team performed a play that conveyed the message of how Harmony within the team brings a successful outcome. As the curtain raised, the stage revealed the characters— everybody was in an unusual get-up to their regular ones leading the audience to speculate what was to come. The story begins with a meeting in one of the villages in Mugu for the formation of Special Maintenance Group (SMG) to undertake the specific maintenance of the road. All the representatives were supportive to each other and the harmony at the implementation level encouraged SMGs at ground level to work effectively within a team. All the recruited SMGs from poor and disadvantaged groups would execute their duty respecting each other’s differences. At the end of the play, the construction of the sustainable road made everyone happy demonstrating the more we build harmony and respect within the team, the more we are motivated to perform our duty effectively and continue looking for ways to achieve our goal. This was a great play with a strong message. Coming together and celebrating harmony is all about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging at our workplace.
Next month, Silver Team will have an event on “Bridging the generational gap in diversity and inclusion” The promotion of such activities at RAP3 MHLR is also about giving the platform for our employees to present their creativity and talents. We are excited for what the Silver Team has to show us the next month.
A one-day Engagement Workshop has been successfully completed on 21st and 22nd August in Surkhet and 25th August in Rukum West and Jumla. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the Maintenance and Resilience Pilot and its start-up activities to relevant stakeholders at the local level. It was also and opportunity to collect information related to understanding, initiation and preparation of Municipal Transport Master Plan (MTMP) by the municipalities. Participants including Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chairpersons, Vice-Chairpersons, and Chief Administrative Officers from Rural/Municipalities of Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rukum West, Kalikot, Jumla and Mugu attended the workshop. Various queries related to the preparation of MTMP and the road maintenance activities through RMG were thoroughly discussed in an open session.
Participants were also informed about the ranges of support through the MRPC office on MTMP preparation and routine/recurrent road maintenance as well as SMG works and their execution through direct funding mechanisms of MRP. In the workshop, DCC Chief from Rukum West emphasised the importance of coordination with local levels during the implementation of any programme. Likewise, Principal Secretary of the Karnali Province highlighted the importance of road maintenance, optimum utilization of budget and the avoidance of work duplications. Issues and concerns raised by the participants were clarified by Mr. Arjun Poudel, MRP Manager, Mr. Dili Prakash Sitaula, MRP Senior Co-ordinator and Gopi Chandra Upreti, MRP Province Support Manager on behalf of RAP3 MHLR.
RAP3 MHLR/PHASE Nepal health team is regularly monitoring the project site to provide primary health care service and emergency treatment to our Road Building Groups. During the health check-up, our mobile health team identified some of the common health problem of RBGs like joint pain, gastritis, and peptic ulcer disease, and distributed medicines to each of them as needed. Our RBGs can also take health check-up service from Bama health post without paying admission fee. RAP3 MHLR gives equal priority for the health and wellbeing of its labour force.
Bio-engineering work has been completed from Rugha upto Darke Khola in an area of 13,120 square metres where full widening along the Mugu Humla Link Road section was completed. Bio-engineering techniques like brush layering using branches of local plant species, covering 1433 running metre has been adopted. Similarly, 80kg of Ryegrass seed was sown at cut-and-fill slope area. Also, in order to stabilize fresh soil cut-and-fill slopes, 8 kg of millet was broadcast. The purpose of bio engineering work is to improve slope stability and prevent erosion of cut and fill slopes along the MHLR alignment.
Maintenance and Resilience Pilot (MRP) provides technical and management support for road maintenance in Karnali Province. As part of the support, gabion boxes, GI wire, construction tools and safety gear that were procured and stored at RAP3 MHLR Regional office, Nepalgunj. These items will be delivered to various location throughout Karnali Province for use in maintenance work on the Provincial Road Network (PRN) and Municipal Road Core Network (MRCN). The project will support both routine and specific maintenance works across the province this fiscal year, building on the work initiated under RAP3 Implementation.
As almost 50% of RBGs working on RAP3 MHLR are women, menstrual hygiene is an issue that needs to be addressed. RAP3 MHLR in coordination with PHASE Nepal conducted an orientation programme on menstrual hygiene for four Road Building Groups- Kureli, Balmandir, Ratapani, and Chandanath on 2nd August 2019 at Darkey khola, Mugu. 31 women participated in the orientation programme. Unsafe practices regarding menstruation still continue in various parts of Mugu area and the aim of this orientation programme is to ensure that women of the RBGs have all the right information on menstruation hygiene.
The 4 km improvement section of MHLR was completed in June. The improvement section runs from near the Red Cross building in Gamgadhi to the Mugu Karnali River. Since then, monsoon rain has caused some damage. In the coming months, the relevant authorities will take over responsibility for the maintenance of the road, but it is important that maintenance is carried out regularly to increase the life of the road, especially during the monsoon season. For this reason, RAP3 MHLR has mobilised a Road Maintenance Group comprising 10 members including 5 women. A one-day orientation was organised for these members to inform them about the major objectives and importance of maintaining roads on regular basis and also their specific duties and procedures to be followed while working on the site.
A nationally recognised wilderness first aid training that trains participants to respond to emergencies in remote areas like Mugu where access to medical care and communication is unreliable, was conducted in Gamgadhi Mugu from 5th to 9th August 2019. The first aid training was given to all the field staff. RAP3 MHLR is committed to the health and safety of all our employees and we have health and safety policies and procedures to guide employees to work safely and prevent injury, to themselves and others. There is a risk of accidents in construction sites which is aggravated by limited access to medical care in Mugu and Humla. Therefore, the aim of providing this training to our staff is to ensure that their first aid skills could be helpful for saving victim/s life until medical service is available.
The training was divided into three different sessions: 21 members engaged in a 3-day full first aid training, 27 members engaged in a one-day basic first aid awareness training, and 13 members who had previously attended 20 hours wilderness first aid training were given a one-day first aid refresher training. All the staff involved in the training passed their practical and written test and received certificate and ID card from Himalayan Medics.
Maintenance and Resilience Pilot (MRP) has been launched under RAP3 MHLR as a separate component from July 2019. MRP aims to strengthen capacity of provincial and local level governments for maintenance of roads under their jurisdictions, and support implementation of Provincial Transport Master Plan (PTMP) and preparation of Municipal Transport Master Plan (MTMP) in all 10 districts of Karnali Province. In order to execute field activities in a systematic manner, the MRP component organised a two-day induction workshop at Kathmandu office from 16-17 July 2019.
All field and Kathmandu based staff attended the workshop. The main objective of the workshop was to orient all staffs regarding the implementation modality of maintenance components including preparation of cluster wise annual plan, an exercise on the preparation of MTMP, and clarity on admin and finance-related matters. The induction workshop has been beneficial to initiate MRP activities in the field.
As per the EIA agreement, tree cutting in the Mugu section is completed within the MHLR road corridor. The project field team has successfully collected all the tree logs that were felled and stacked at different 13 locations of Chankheli Community forest, Mugu. In the presence of Mugu Divisional Forest Officer, ward chairperson of Rara Chhayanath Municipality, civil society, political parties and local people of Bama, the project field team has handed over all tree logs and firewood to Chankheli Community Forest Users on 23rd July 2019. All the logs, firewood and its management now will be the responsibility of the community forest and should be used only with the approval of the Divisional Forest Office (DFO).
The Mugu DFO has also provided the letter of appreciation to RAP3 MHLR for successfully executing all the tasks and responsibilities in time. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the concerned teams and authorities for their regular assistance and support to deliver our work effectively.
Suman Baidya and Surya Rana from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Indra Tamata from DFID-Project Coherence Unit, and Shristi Bhattarai from Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration/Department of Local Infrastructure were in Dailekh and Kalikot as part of DFID annual review of RAP3 from 7th July to 10th July 2019. The team met two municipalities, Chamunda Bindrasaini in Dailekh and Raskot in Kalikot along with Mayors, deputy mayors, and chief executive officers to review RAP3 sustainability, progress, issues and challenges related to road construction and maintenance under RAP3. The municipal authorities expressed their interest in RAP approach, project working modality and appreciated our transparent system, quality control system and employment opportunities maintained and created by the project. The team also interacted with RMGs in Guranse-Patikanla and Mathillo Dungeswor – Dandaparajul at Dailekh and Sannighat – Sipkhana at Kalikot and observed the roads built and maintained under RAP. Furthermore, the team has also experienced that after the GoN took over the RMG work, there has been delay in supply of required safety gears/tools.
The overall field visit went well and the team got an opportunity to observe the stakeholders’ perceptions towards RAP support. The team- Gopi Chandra Upreti from Kathmandu, Damodar Khanal from Surkhet and Binod Yadav from Jumla had attended the annual review visit from RAP3 side.