ROADS THE CONNECT NEPAL'S POOR TO MARKET AND SERVICES
Since 1999 in Nepal, IMC has built and maintained thousands of kilometres of rural roads to connect remote communities with markets and education and health facilities.
Focusing on the poorest districts, the joint UK-Nepal Rural Access Programme employs over 8,000 people drawn from the most marginalised sectors of society.
These include Dalits, traditionally regarded as untouchable, and women, who represent over 33% of the RAP workforce.
RAP, which in 2014 won the British Expertise Outstanding International Development Project Award, has benefited 625,000 people so far.
RAP runs group-managed credit schemes that have supported the development of a savings culture and provided seed money for inter-group lending. Fixed-interest loans offer an alternative to the exorbitant rates charged by loan sharks and are often used to fund income-generation initiatives that facilitate the shift from subsistence to cash farming.
RAP has also trained local farmers on how to improve irrigation and yield, and diversify crops through better management of land and livestock.
In 2015, we partnered with Antenna Foundation Nepal to launch the radio show Bikash Ko Bato (in Nepali, ‘A Road to Development’), which is aired twice a week on local FM radio stations in RAP’s most remote districts. People are invited to call a toll-free number and leave a voice message with their thoughts on the programme and issues that affect them.
172 CYCLONE SHELTERS TO PROTECT BANGLADESH’S COMMUNITIES
We work with the Islamic Development Bank to build 172 cyclone shelters on Bangladesh’s southern coast. These ‘green’ buildings, equipped with solar panels and potable water supply systems, are helping communities to rebuild after Cyclone Sidr in 2007 and now protect them from future disasters.
Each shelter can protect up to 2,000 people and 500 cattle. During normal times, they also function as modern schools for 284 students each.