During our first week in Nepal we had 3 additional team members joining us on our field trip to Dhungetar from the Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM). Here is the experience in the village told by Sumit Shah, one of the students.
BACHELOR ‘S IN CIVIL ENGINEERING
ASIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT (AITM),
DAY 1 – After 7 hours long journey from Kathmandu we arrived at our case site study area Dhungetar, Nuwakot in the afternoon. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Govinda Joshi and staff members of ICIMOD. Mr. Joshi arranged our accommodation and food. He took us to a wedding at the village and introduced us to the locals. We were tired and it was getting dark so we discussed about interviews with locals and had delicious dinner at the nearby restaurant.
DAY 2 – Mr. Joshi gave us a presentation about the project running in Dhungetar by ICIMOD in the morning. Then we had a guided tour by him to the project area, nearby primary school in the afternoon. We got the opportunity to see some of the sustainable technologies introduced at the village like biogas plants, water mills, solar cooker, solar dryer, rain water harvesting. In the evening we had our meetings and we prepared the questions for the interviews and divided the groups and planned for next day interview schedule.
DAY 3 – We discussed and prepared our interview questions in the morning. Half of us joined the mother’s meeting and interviewed the mother’s in the groups while the rest talked with ICIMOD staff to list out other possible people we could interview. Then we had break and in the afternoon we interviewed some more people in the village.
DAY 4 – We continued our interviews with locals but focused on the people with different situations. We even interviewed with staff members of ICIMOD. We got information about CSSB Blocks and process of the reconstruction and rehabilitation and how the ICIMOD is running various programs to empower and uplift the lives of people of Dhungetar. We calculated the carbon footprint of the model house.
DAY 5 – We left Dhungetar in the morning. It was really sad to leave the place because we all had developed an emotional attachment with the people. We got an opportunity to visit Nuwakot Palace and exhibition which was guided by Mr. Govinda Joshi. And we had delicious lunch and we arrived at Kathmandu in the evening.
It was a great learning experience with Aalto Team, Finland and ICIMOD staff. Staying in Kathmandu we were unaware about the misery of the people in the remote villages of Nepal. Several years after the massive earthquake people are still living miserable lives because of the lack of concern by the authority & government. Reconstruction works by ICIMOD in Dhungetar was satisfactory but in the other parts of Nepal the situation is worse. We encountered many people who are struggling a lot to survive on the daily basis. Sustainable technologies are introduced in the village such as biogas plants, water mills, solar cooker, solar dryer, rain water harvesting etc. and women empowerment programs, income generating skills and trainings are some of the positive changes that are making the lives of the people better. I would like to thank everyone who made the visit successful.