VOL. 05, NO. 15, February 10, 2012 (Magh 27, 2068)
In the peace making process, Germany has provided a generous contribution
By A CORRESSPONDENT
In the transition from conflict to calm, Nepal’s peace process is moving towards its logical end. As Nepal’s longest development partner, Germany has been supporting the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable peace.
Government officials hold the view that GiZ support has a high importance. According to senior government officials, GiZ has worked in conflict affected districts in Western Nepal and had a significant impact in improving the socioeconomic situation in those districts. After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the German government was keen to support the peace process and responded quickly to the new situation.
Produced by GiZ, BMZ, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, kfw and zfd, five documentary films display the German contribution to the peace process of Nepal. ‘Promoting Peace’ films tell the stories, especially of the last five years.
In these years, Nepal’s development partners have contributed a lot to the peace process. GiZ is one of the partners involved from the very beginning to implement various projects in Nepal.
After the singing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006, GiZ implemented several programs in and around the 28 Maoist cantonments. Under Support Measures to Strengthen the Peace Process, GiZ has implemented several projects to improve the living conditions in the communities.
Its projects on providing access to sufficient and safe drinking water project and improving the critical sanitation situation and health services benefited both the Maoist Army combatants and local population. According to the recently released documentary, STPP carried out various programs in the areas providing vocational training for more than 15,000 participants at the local level. Among them, socially excluded group (lower casts) and 30 percent women were shown better options for their present and future life.
Under Improvement of Livelihood in Rural Areas (ILRA) and Reintegration and Reconstruction (ReRe),GiZ has been active in Rukum and Rolpa districts from 2004 to 2010 in the heartland of Maoist insurgency. A replication of ReRe has been started in October 2009 in Nepal’s Far West through improvement of Livelihoods in Rural Areas Program.
As with ReRe, food/cash for work measures employed by the project brought immediate relief to the local people. Roads, water supplies, irrigation systems, schools and service centers were constructed. Food availability improved through agricultural training and improved seeds. The diversification of income sources towards non-farm activities lessened vulnerability and offered opportunities to landless people.
During its implementation, the project sought to ensure all sectors of the community, particularly women, dalits and disadvantaged groups are integrated.
Along with these two, the Civil Peace Service program also helped to bring drastic changes in the society. GiZ has been active in the field of piece building and conflict transformation since 2008. This program mainly aims to contribute to non-violent conflict transformation and social change thereby enhancing access to justice and social inclusion.
Support to Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF) is another project where GiZ has been actively involved from early days. NPTFs main activities are in the field of cantonment and rehabilitation of combatants, support to conflict affected people including internally displaced, strengthening security and transitional justice mechanisms as well as support to the Constituent Assembly and peace building initiatives such as the Peace Secretariat and Local Peace Committees.
According to Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, seven donors contribute financially to NPTF. In contrast to the six others, Germany follows a two-fold approach combining financial contributions with strengthening institutional capacities. On behalf of BMZ, KfW invests directly into the fund, while GTZ provides advisory services to the Peace Fund Secretariats and contributes to a Technical Cooperation Pool for Capacity Development of Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction.
A Way To Hope
Based on a simple technology, the gravity ropeway has brought about a major transformation in rural areas
By A CORRESSPONDENT
Kusum Kala Silwal, 38, a resident from across the Tila River in ward no 3 of Gela VDC of remote Kalikot, has a reason to rejoice as the construction of a Tow-In has eased and even saved her life.
“I am so lucky to be alive. All thanks to the tuin, I crossed the river in just three minutes and reached the health post in time,” said Silwal.
Thanks to Gravity Ropeway, Raj Kumar Gurung, 40, Baralung of Chimkeshwori of Tanahu district, changed his mind about returning to Dubai for work. While he was home enjoying his holiday, Rajkumar learned about the training sessions on vegetables production organised by the Access Project.
“The reason I managed to make good profit is due to the ropeway installed in our village which transports our production to the highway leading to Mugling Market of Chitwan district,” said Gurung. Because of ropeway, farmers in Chimkeshwori are saving 50 to 70 percent of their transportation cost compared to the past and their products are transported to the highway within 2 to 3 minutes.
In 2007, Practical Action launched the Access for Opportunities, Nepal, Project with the objective to improve the socio-economic situation of 8000 marginalised households in Achham, Kalikot, Tanahu and Gorkha districts of Nepal.
During its five-year implementation period, the project designed and delivered 15 gravity goods ropeways and 18 improved tuins to enhance peoples’ mobility and access to other essential services. Along with installing the ropeway, the project also helped to develop the capacity of local communities who were then mobilized to install improved tuins and ropeways.
Practical Action’s experiences demonstrate that the complementary transport such as the ropeways and tuins are the most appropriate technologies for Nepal to satisfy the rural people’s immediate access needs.
The project also organized various capacity building activities like exposure visits, training on post harvest value addition and on and off seasonal vegetable production and micro irrigation facilities such as the health posts, schools, agriculture centers and market centers.
It is co-funded by the European Union (750,000 Euro – 59.56 percent of total project budget), Jose Entrecanales Ibarra Foundation Spain, Rotary Club of St. Helen, the UK Trust and Foundation, and George and Margaret Taylor and implemented by the local partners, Center for Community Development Gurkha, NGO Network in Tanahu,, Social Empowerment and building Accessibility Center in Achham and Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Center in Kalikot.
“Delegation of the European Union in Nepal is happy to be a part of the project. Successful implementation of the project helped to uplift the livelihood of the rural people of Nepal,” Lius Navarro, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, said.
Under the aegis of Practical Action, a final sharing workshop of Access for Opportunities Project has recently concluded. Addressing the program, chief guest Shital Babu Regmi, secretary at Ministry of Local Development, hailed the project as the most appropriate for a country like Nepal. “We need to expand these ropeways throughout the country. After listening about the program, I realised that Nepal needs to implement more such ropeways in various remote parts of the country,” said Regmi.
With investments of limited amounts of money, four districts have already shown how life can drastically transform through the use of ropeways.
“I am proud that after installation of the gravity goods ropeways and tuins, we are able to improve the transport service, enhance people’s mobility and access to essential services such as health, education and water. It also helps local people to increase the interactions with the external communities and markets and diversifying income generation activities through improved production, processing and marketing off farm products,” said Achyut Luitel, country director. The five projects designed and delivered 15 gravity goods ropeways and 18 improved tuins (cable river crossing).”
Practical Action’s experiences have shown that gravity ropeways can transform the livelihoods of the people living in rural parts of Nepal. This is a cost effective as well as affordable technology.