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Roads Above the Clouds – Celebrations marking 20 years of RAP

“RAP3 is close to my heart, as it is to the hearts of many people across the Karnali Province”

 – RBG, Mugu

The 12th Feb 2020 was a memorable night celebrating 20 years of history and close ties of Nepal and the UK Rural Access Programme with music from “The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas” held at the British Embassy, Kathmandu. Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Ms. Nicola Pollitt extended her heartfelt congratulations to everyone associated with RAP for their continued success over the past 20 years. In her speech the Ambassador mentioned how the RAP programme has been building roads in Nepal’s remote districts and providing employment to the poor and marginalised women. Most recent in the programme’s success is the Humla district, which was not linked to Nepal’s road network, has now been connected by road to the rest of Nepal through Mugu and HMA Pollitt added that during her tenure, she is excited to visit and observe RAP3 MHLR programme in Mugu-Humla. Ms. Lisa Honan, Head of DFID Nepal in her speech mentioned that RAP is more than just a road building project. She explained how RAP is an income generation project as well as a woman empowerment project because young women were able to earn and contribute to their households and avoid early marriages. Ms. Honan added, “In the last two decades, RAP has built 1138km of road in the most remote parts of Nepal. It has created 21 million days of employment for poor and disadvantaged communities and 42% of which went to women. In total, we estimated, the programme works have touched lives of about three million people in Nepal”. Similarly, Kedar Prasad Paneru, Joint Secretary, MOFAGA also expressed his gratitude for the 20 years of success of RAP. Kirsteen Merrilees, RAP3 MHLR Team Leader introduced the project field visitors and beneficiaries from Bhojpur to Humla who have work hard to achieve the success and their dedications at ground level make this project successful.

After the speeches guests were invited to enjoy the display set up showcasing the Rural Access Programme achievements over the last 20 years. Along with photographs and text, there were also videos demonstrating everything the project had accomplished.

The event was concluded with the live RAP songs presented by Simon Lucas and Surya Rana from DFID Nepal.

The 20 years of success is not just about the past, but the present and the future. It was a great privilege and an honour to have our distinguished guests from MOFAGA, DoLI and every other organisations who came together to celebrate 20 years of our accomplishments. RAP3 MHLR team would like to thank every single individual for helping to make this success happen. It is a night of celebration that will be fondly remembered.