Poor road infrastructure traps approximately 80 percent of Nepal’s population in subsistence agriculture and makes transport treacherous, which inflates the prices of basic commodities. A lack of road maintenance exacerbates these issues, and a culture of ‘build and forget’ has become normal practice in all national district road projects. By 2012, over half of the local road network that was constructed over the previous 15 years was no longer useable because of lack of maintenance.
The Rural Access Programme Nepal is responsible for the design, build, and project management of road maintenance, road improvement, and new road construction activities. These construction activities provide an entry point for poverty alleviation in some of the poorest parts of Nepal. The work applies a pro-poor approach to road construction and maintenance to provide climate resilient roads and bridges in two of the most remote districts of Nepal: Mugu and Humla. We employ a hybrid construction approach—using equipment for earthworks and community labour for structures works—that provides wage income to some of the poorest people in Nepal while meeting the project’s progress and financial targets. We also provide technical assistance to local and provincial government bodies to maintain road access and support emergency and humanitarian responses during natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through this multi-stage project, DT Global has created more than 19 million days of employment, of which 40% were for women. The project built over 1,100 kilometres of road; provided over 2.75 million people with better access to markets, health, and education facilities; and trained more than 40,000 people in new income generating skills.
Specific results for Rural Access Programme Nepal include: