One week in Helambu for a need assessment of lodges and schools

Our new trainee Johanna says “Namaste”
26. July 2017
Meet the lodge owners: Mr. Gautam
11. August 2017
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We’ve been again to the field and visited the seven villages which are located on the Climate Trek. The trip was eight days long, from July 12 to 19. I and our intern Johanna were accompanied by our engineering service provider SW Nepal as well as our local guide Nima Lama. In total we were eight people in the assessment trip.

The on-site field assessment focused on several points: the reconstruction status of each lodge owner, their timeline for the reconstruction, their preparation in terms of finance and construction materials for lodges. It also detailed us the lodge owners’ plans on the number of rooms, no. of beds, preparation on the measures of reconstruction and more. The goal was to collect all these data in order to provide customized technical and financial recommendations to each lodge owner.

On-site field assessment

The assessment started on July 12, 2017 and the team was happy to be welcomed by very motivated lodge owners starting from the first village Chipling. SO far, 3 out of 11 assessed lodges have already started reconstruction. 1 lodge among all 11, has almost completed the reconstruction. Less than half of the assessed 11 lodge owners said that they would need loan for the reconstruction. More than one third of all lodge owners want to build biogas facilities making use of atmosfair’s subsidy payments. Until today 11 lodge owners pledged to build 50 new rooms as per the eco-standards of the Climate Trek Nepal. In addition to the lodge assessment, we also visited two schools (in Sermathang and Melamchi Ghyang) as well as two health posts (in Sermathang and Kutumsang) and assessed their needs in terms of physical equipment such as solar energy and water purifiers. We are expecting our engineer’s survey results by mid-August 2017 to know more about technical requirements of each lodge, school and the health post.

One significant challenge identified during the on-site field assessment trip is the National Park issue in two of the Trekking points – Mangengoth and Tharepati. The four lodge owners within the Langtang National Park are not sure whether they will get long term lease approval from the Government. If the National Park does not provide long term lease approval to the lodges within national park territory, the four lodge owners will not be able to reconstruct their lodges with Climate Trek eco-standards. In that, we will have to find an alternative solution for this challenge.

Finally, the assessment finished on July 19, 2017 with some very amicable findings. All the lodge owners seem to be very positive about the project and willing to gear up the reconstruction of their lodges with their whole effort.