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What's New

08 April 2022

The RAP3 MHLR team is pleased to announce that the construction and handover of full length of MHLR is now complete. The remaining 30 km long road section of the UK aid funded Mugu Humla Link Road (MHLR) was officially handed over to the Infrastructure Development Office (IDO), Humla under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Urban Development (MoPIUD), Karnali Province on 2nd April 2022. Representing MoPIUD, Mr. Devi Aidi, IDO Chief, Humla accepted the road handover of MHLR 30km section. The handover of the first 26 KM long section was done on 25th December 2020 from Gamgadhi to Darke Khola, 11.350 km long section from Darke to Chankheli on 30th September 2021 and the third section of 30km from Chankheli to Deuli was done on 2nd April 2022,

The handover programme was attended by representatives from MoPIUD, RAP3 MHLR, CDO Mugu, stakeholders, government officials and locals of Mugu and Humla. During the event, IDO Chief, Humla made the commitment to take necessary actions to maintain the quality of MHLR and requested MoPIUD, Karnali Province to allocate budget for road maintenance work. At the handover event, RAP3 MHLR Team Leader also expressed her sincere gratitude to all the government officials of federal, province and local level, project staff, beneficiaries and all those who have worked on or supported in any way in achieving the project’s objectives and successes.

The operation of vehicles has already resulted in benefits for the local population of Mugu and Humla. There is evidence of local people gaining access to improved transportation, medical services, selling fruits, grains and herbs produced in their villages and are happy with the reduction of cost in rice and other items. Shopkeepers in Humla are also equally excited to unload goods in front of their shop after the mobilization of vehicles in the MHLR road.

Now that locals have started experiencing positive changes brought by road access and transport services in their villages, they are more aware of the need for road maintenance and are hopeful that the concerned authorities will maintain MHLR and allow full service of roads in all seasons.

08 April 2022

The inclusion and diversity team asked an interesting question, “what does it take to live a happier life?” to their audiences and then started their interesting discussion event on the “mid-life crisis” presented by Kathmandu team on 22nd March 2022. The team did some online research on mid-life mental health crisis and discussed that after reaching a certain age, people start thinking about the meaning of life and sometimes it might be frustrating for some people when they cannot find the actual purpose or meaning of their life. The team also focused that middle-aged adults are often omitted from research on adult development and aging and they highlighted the importance of closing the research gap to further understand this understudied (40-60) age period. As there is little empirical evidence to explain the midlife mental health crisis, the team stated that the findings from the research can inform interventions to promote well-being among the middle-aged and that gives benefit for the welfare of those younger and older who depends on them. Some of the team members also shared lessons they learnt from the crises they have gone through and how they were able to overcome those situations. One of the team members also mentioned that he feels very good to learn about the ‘mid-life crisis’ which was completely a new topic for him and now he thinks that mid-life crisis is an important part of our life which needs more discussion and attention. 

If you feel that you are at increased risk of experiencing the midlife mental health crisis, gaining some credible information from online research could help you understand how to deal with this crisis. Some of our team members said their desk research work helped them understand a lot about it. Our inclusion team would like to encourage everyone to “Practice Positivity” in their daily lives.

28 March 2022

On 4th March 2022, for an Inclusion event, Institutional support field team prepared a documentary showcasing the tourism potential in Karnali province. Along with various places to visit around Karnali, the video also explained about the brief history linking to the place. Kupinde Lake, Baraha Temple, Khairabang Temple and Kacchuwa Daha are some places that one can visit when travelling to Salyan. The video explained how the debate among brothers during the period of Jaida Bam led to the division of a kingdom into Rukumkot, Musikot, Banphikot, Gotamkot and Jaharikot. Sisne Himal of Rukum West which is also known as “Murkhutta”, as depicted in many Nepali literatures. And if Syarpu lake of Rukum West makes it to your list, you can indulge in many recreational activities such as boating, fish farming and camping. Also make sure you plan your trip to Rukum West so that you don’t miss the Mayur Dance. One of the main attractions of Jajarkot is Jajarkot Durbar whose height was reduced from 7 storey to 4 storey in an earthquake of 1934. Rara Lake is the precious gift of Mugu and if you wish to immerse into serenity and recharge your energy, Rara is definitely the place to go. While Shey Phoksundo Lake is a very famous tourist destination. Other places that one can visit in Dolpa are Bala Tripursasundari Bhagwati Temple, Shey Monastry, Kanjirowa Mountain and Dho-Tarap Valley. In Dailekh, one can visit Kot Gadhi built during the Malla period which has 1,038 years old Saupal Adhai Shakya built first inscription. Another place of interest from a religious point of view is Sristhan Area which has the biggest natural fire flame in Nepal. When you finally arrive in Surkhet, be ready with a long list of places to visit such as Kakre Bihar, Deuti Bajai Temple, Clock tower park, Patal Durbar, Baraha Temple and Gothikada.

While the potential for exploiting tourism sector of Karnali is very much viable, the lack of infrastructure and initiatives to conserve these places are the biggest hindrance. 

28 March 2022

Tara Baniya, working as a Social Mobiliser at RAP3 MHLR, came to Kathmandu for the first time in 2020 to attend the, “20 years of RAP” event, organised at the British Embassy, Kathmandu. She was full of curiosity about what the capital city would be like. As soon as she arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport, the sight of women and girls on scooters surprised her, and she kept looking at them until they crossed her path. At that very moment she wished she could also ride a scooter like those women, but she knew it was a long shot for her, so she pushed her desire away.

All this time, while working in RAP3 MHLR, Tara would sit behind her male colleagues on a motorbike to reach project sites. This means at times when no one was around, she would have to walk a long distance on foot to reach the work sites. Combined with her aspiration to learn to ride a motorbike and the encouragement of project staff, she made an attempt to materialise her ambition. Tara has now learned to ride a motorbike. This is indeed a very commendable instance as the society where Tara belongs, a woman riding a motorbike is not a norm. Tara is yet to get an official driving license which she is hoping to get soon.

This new skill will surely give a lot of freedom for Tara to tap into wider opportunities and grow. This is a moment of pride for Tara, as she is the first woman to learn how to ride a motorcycle in Mugu.

28 March 2022

RAP3 MHLR celebrated the 112th International Women’s Day (IWD) throughout its field offices with various interesting activities. RAP3 MHLR Central Office held an informal discussion session among staff to talk about the different gender bias prevalent and things we have done to challenge those biases both as individuals and as an organisation.

In the Institutional Support Component, the Project Support Team (PST) organised different events to highlight the significance of women empowerment and gender equality. The event included sharing achievements and success stories of our female workers, discussing challenges they are facing in the community due to remoteness and inequality and playing fun games along with gifts for winner. The event was graced with participation of RMGs, local stakeholders and other local people from the community.

MHLR Construction, organised a programme to mark IWD in Bama, Mugu which was attended by women from Bama and Panidhara LRUC including local people. The event initiated with a rally where participants carried placards displaying slogans of women empowerment. Social Mobiliser, Tara Baniya also showcased her motorcycle riding skills, which she recently learned, as a way to demonstrate how women can also successfully learn skills. Participants enjoyed many fun games and took part in Deuda competition. A similar event was organised in Bohorabada, Humla. While the women of Rugha, Mugu marked IWD event independently which is something different and definitely a positive change in the community. We hope that these women will continue to celebrate IWD event and their accomplishments in the community even after the completion of the RAP3 MHLR project.

04 March 2022

The RAP3 MHLR project field team organised an orientation event for the field staff and workers of Shankhamali/Ridarc JV (contractor appointed for the construction of 4 bridges) and RAP3 MHLR bridges supervision team on 19th February 2022 at the Project Field Office, Gamgadhi, Mugu. Project Field Manager oriented on the new ‘Bridge Site Management Guideline’ which includes construction planning of these bridges, roles and responsibilities of staff and workers, communication channels, quality control, and inspection and supervision procedures to be followed. The contractor’s health and safety officers and other staff were also oriented on health and safety management such as health risks, hazards and how to deal with them while working in the field. In addition, the PHASE Nepal team provided a brief course in first aid training. The orientation programme was concluded by informing them about the work plans of all the four bridges submitted by the contractor and the Code of Conduct of the project. 

04 March 2022

As part of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the latest round of Inclusion Events series has now officially started. For the inclusion events, staff are encouraged to bring up their favorite discussion topics of their choice and lead interactive sessions with the audience. The first inclusion event for this round was held on 22nd February 2022 by Team 1 (Kathmandu Staff) on ‘Waste Management’. Prior to the event, the team circulated a questionnaire among the staff to get an overview of their general understanding of waste management as well as their behaviour and attitude. The team also gave a presentation titled, “It is More Than Just Waste”. The inclusion event was very informative, with the recapitulation of data from the Waste Management Baseline Survey of Nepal 2020 conducted by Central Bureau of Statistics. The team urged the audience to make wise decisions to reduce waste production and promote recycling/reusing of things. The event also focused on business firms like Khalisisi.com, Doko Recyclers, Blue2Waste where we can connect at both the individual and organizational levels to smartly manage waste produced.

21 February 2022

Municipal Transport Master Plan (MTMP) of Mahabu Rural Municipality (Dailekh) and Kumakh Rural Municipality (Salyan) have been formally approved by the Rural Municipality executive boards. At the request of these Rural Municipalities, UK Aid funded RAP3 MHLR has provided technical support for the preparation of 5-year MTMP. RAP3 MHLR's Province Support Team (PST) and technical personnel of Palikas conducted a joint survey of the Municipal Road Core Network (MRCN) using a GPS instrument, recording inventories of road length, width, proposed structures, road surface status, traffic volume, and other data. Following the collection of all relevant data, PSTs prepared MTMP maps using GIS software where the top ranked roads were determined using survey data and standard excel template. The implementation of MTMP will help in road construction and maintenance planning, programming and budgeting.

Vice Chairperson of Kumakh RM and Palika Chairman of Mahabu RM thanked RAP3 MHLR for providing technical support to verify data, prepare shape file, maps and preparation of the MTMP report.

21 February 2022

Public audits in three LRUCs (Panidhara, Bama Gairagaun and Rughamasta) were organised on 26th and 27th January 2022. Similarly, public audit in Dudedaha LRUC was completed on 30th January 2022. The purpose of the LRUC level audits on MHLR was to discuss between beneficiaries, stakeholders and the project team on the design, delivery, quality of service, verification of payments received by RBGs/SRBGs and expenditures made by LRUCs. The participants were given sufficient time to raise issues, concerns and queries they had and the project field team facilitated to clear all the issues and queries.

Due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, participants were limited to 25 in each event. The working group facilitators (Sahajkarta), representatives from various political parties, ward chairperson, stakeholders, PHASE Nepal team and project field team participated in the meeting. This time, PHASE Nepal team also took the opportunity to conduct their public audit in the same event.

21 February 2022

At RAP3 MHLR, all staff are required to understand the project’s values and work ethics, and the project ensures that all staff understand and comply with the RAP3 MHLR Codes of Conduct. Every year, all staff receive Codes of Conduct training and other mandatory courses, but the project has never conducted a separate test to evaluate how much staff have learned or retained information from the training materials. In addition, it was recommended in one of our internal Audits that it would be helpful to find out the effectiveness of our compulsory training programme. Therefore, we incorporated training materials into quiz questions to assess how much staff have learned and retained from three mandatory Code of Conduct courses: Anti-corruption, Behaviour and Safeguards as well as four other mandatory training: Safeguarding Guidelines and Best Practices; Feedback and Incident Handling and Reporting; Communication Guideline; and IT and Computer use Policy. We made the quiz more competitive for staff by offering cash prizes to the first three winners. The first winner scored a full mark of 30 points, while the second and third winners scored 29 and 28 points, respectively. There was a tie for third place, so the lucky winner was chosen from among six equal scoring staff by a lucky draw. The quiz has been completed by all staff of the project. Our auxiliary staff did not have access to the online platform, so they were assisted in-person to complete the quiz following COVID 19 safety protocols.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the project staff for actively participating in the training retention quiz.

28 January 2022

The RAP3 MHLR Project field office, Surkhet organised a day long training on first-aid for the Province Support Team (PST) of five districts of Karnali Province: Dailekh, Jajarkot, Rukum-West, Salyan and Surkhet. The training was facilitated by Nepal Red Cross Society District Office, Surkhet. The training was conducted on 8th January 2022 to aware the project field staff about the medicines and equipment in a first aid kit and the method to use them properly. Certified trainers trained the project field staff on a list of first aid items and their proper use. The instructors provided both theoretical and practical knowledge on first-aid treatment based on the types of injuries. The training session also focused on treating patients and responding to emergencies, using bandages on wounds, transporting patients with fractures safely, assessing patient’s condition and also discussed about the overall incident management. After covering the theoretical parts of the training, a demonstration session was conducted to help staff understand how to handle situations during critical times. Furthermore, group exercises were done to provide participants with practical knowledge for enhancing the techniques required for dealing with first-aid emergency treatment on various types of injuries.

This training will help our PSTs transfer life-saving techniques when access to medical care and supplies is unavailable, as well as knowledge of first-aid items and their proper use to project’s Road Maintenance Groups and Specific Maintenance Groups in the worksite.

12 January 2022

Various areas around Mugu and Humla have experienced the snowfall of this year’s winter season. The extreme snowy weather has already made road construction work on the MHLR corridor more difficult and significantly colder for our workers and project field team. Our field team continually review the weather situation in the worksite and they only continue working if it is safe for everyone to be on the construction site. The field team has already shifted staff from Satthaple to Bama and Melchhyam areas, forecasting heavy snowfall in Satthaple and remobilised groups and machines for finalising finishing work in sections with less snowfall.  

Despite the harsh temperatures, the presence of snowfall with snow-capped hills and mountains in the dry winter is a splendid change of scenery in Mugu and Humla. Local people and kids of these districts view this season as a freezing winter celebration. They enjoy playing in snow, collecting drinking water from frozen streams, overcoming icy roads and strong cold breeze, and snuggling up next to a fire with a group of villagers. The exciting hills and meadows of Rara lake blanketed with snow are also a spectacular sight to behold.

12 January 2022

As part of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the support staff team of central office and field offices presented an event titled ‘Memory Lane we have built at RAP3 MHLR’ on 31st December 2021. The team shared their happy experiences working on the RAP3 MHLR project and also expressed their contentment towards inclusive work environment, and harmonious and supportive staff members in all the working districts of the project.

Our auxiliary staff are very understanding, friendly and supportive. Their presence has made our office environment very vibrant.  They always put on a big smile while serving us warm tea, driving us to the destination safely and on other occasions. Many thanks to our all-auxiliary staff for always being the best team in running our project offices smoothly.

12 January 2022

Malnutrition has been a long-standing problem in Karnali mainly due to poverty and lack of awareness among guardians regarding nutritious foods. PHASE Nepal has been working in various districts of Karnali Province focusing on health and wellbeing, food security and other related projects to improve the condition of the population of Karnali. Similarly, RAP3 MHLR also provides on-site health services and related assistance to the MHLR workers and project staff through downstream partner PHASE Nepal in Mugu and Humla. Under MHLR, we raise awareness of health hazards (injuries and disease), how to avoid risks, and self-manage minor illness to keep our workers safe and healthy. PHASE Nepal team also strongly focuses on awareness programme on nutritious foods by promoting local food consumption to our workers. The health team demonstrates training on how to cook “Khichadi”— a very healthy recipe made with local rice, egg, lentils and beans. Our workers also cook Khichadi for their children and they encourage pregnant women, nursing mothers and children to eat Khichadi as a nutritious dish in their community. 

12 January 2022

Dr. Suman Baidya (Infrastructure Adviser), Surya Rana (Programme Manager), and Rakshya Baral (Programme Support Officer) from British Embassy Kathmandu (BEK) and Pralad Karki (Under Secretary) from Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) visited the entire Mugu Humla Link Road alignment in Mugu and Humla from 20th to 23rd December 2021. The visiting team met and interacted with the Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs), Special Road Building Groups (SRBGs), and Road Building Groups (RBGs) on road sites and observed various project field activities in the MHLR corridor. The team also met with the ward chairperson of Chhayanath Rara Municipality in Bama and talked with the project field staff about the progress, issues, and challenges of the extremely cold weather while working on the construction site.

Mr. Karki from MoFAGA praised our field team and workers for their dedication to project work despite the harsh weather in Mugu and Humla. He was also delighted to see more female members involving in road construction work on the site and he provided a satisfactory response for timely construction of quality roads in such remote districts.

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