UK aid connects Nepal’s most remote district to road network

With the successful completion of the 67-km long Mugu-Humla Link Road, Humla, Nepal’s most remote district, is finally linked to the country’s formal road network. Built as part of the UK’s flagship Rural Access Programme Phase 3, the well-engineered motorable link road replaces a walking trail and is the longest road the UK has helped build in Nepal under RAP3. The road also crosses the highest altitude for any RAP road at Chankheli Pass which lies at 3,300m.

MHLR includes four bridges.Thirty-seven km of the road lies in Mugu, while 30- km lies in Humla district.The road was built at a cost of £10.6 million with UK government assistance. British Ambassador Nicola Pollitt said, “The successful completion of this project demonstrates that when local people, different spheres of government and experts cometogether for a common goal, big changes are indeed possible. It is also a shining example of long-term strategic collaboration delivering the UK’s green, resilient inclusive development objective for Nepal.”She also requested different spheres of the Government of Nepal to maintain the road adequately. As a result of this collaboration between the UK and Nepal, transportation costs have been reduced by sixty six per cent. Food prices have gone down as well – the price of a sack of rice has reduced by forty three per cent.Access to markets, health facilities and schools have all been improved.The programme employed over 4,400 local labourers to build the MHLR road. More than 35 per cent of the workforce was women. In addition, the project also employed poor men and women to maintain provincial and local roads in Karnali Province. The road construction and maintenance under RAP3-MHLR project created about 12 lakh employment days, 40 per cent of which went to women.

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