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SPECIAL FEATURE


Ram Krishna Dangal, shopkeeper in a roadside hotel “This road played a key role in the transportation of raw materials for rebuilding after the 2015 earthquake. Hotels have seen an increase in tourists because it’s quicker and more convenient for them to travel here. We’re hoping for a wider road in the future because this road is narrow and can lead to accidents.”


SECTOR: MULTISECTOR PROJECT NAME: RURAL RECONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION FINANCING TYPE: PUBLIC SECTOR LOAN (2008, COMPLETED) PARTNER: NEPAL’S MINISTRY OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ADB SITE VISITS: BHAKTAPUR AND NAGARKOT


Completed in 2013, this project aimed to reduce poverty and support economic growth in some 38 rural districts by improving connectivity, rehabilitating critical infrastructure, enhancing employment opportunities and increasing access to regional markets and social services. 2.6 million people are estimated to have benefited from its implementation. Janak Raj Pant (pictured top), an Engineer from the Ministry of Urban Development, guided us along one of the 822 km of roadways constructed as part of this project: a 12.5km stretch of ‘black-top’ road leading from Bhaktapur in the eastern corner of Kathmandu Valley to the hillside village of Nagarkot, a tourist destination known for its views of the Himalayas. “Black-top roads require special treatment


and soil testing to ensure they’re long-lasting and sustainable in challenging rural terrain such as this,” explained Pant. “Despite the fact that this particular road was constructed eight years ago, it’s still in good condition compared to others in the area.” Pant considers this a pioneering project, whose


broader focus and knowledge-sharing aspects enabled local teams to learn about social and environmental issues, as well. “We’re now working according to lessons learned from it,” said Pant.


2.6 million


people are estimated to have benefited from the project


Bishnu Prasad Timilsina,


roadside shopkeeper and resident “In earlier days, if someone was sick, five or six people would have to carry


that person to the hospital, which took four or five hours. That person could


die on the way. Now, an ambulance can drive right up to our doorstep.”


THE OFID TEAM The OFID team consisted of Senior Operations Officer for the


Asia Region, Dr Jaafar Al-Mahdi; Communications Officer Nadia Benamara; Andreas Habermaier, a Freelance Cameraman from OFID’s host city, Vienna, Austria; and our local Media Facilitator and Interpreter, Lilu KC from Clikman Productions in Kathmandu. In addition to the Nepalese government, officers and staff, we must thank representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is OFID’s co-financing partner in Nepal. ADB officers prepared much of the ground-work guiding our mission, for which we are immensely grateful.


All mission photos © OFID/Andreas Habermaier 19


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