Social Aspects

The Village:

Terraced fields

This village selected for the prototype project is in the Lamjung district and is comprised of people from the Gurung ethnic group. There are 53 households. To get to the village from Kathmandu requires a 6 hour bus ride, and then either an 8 hour hike on rough trails to the village or if available a jeep ride of several hours followed by 3 hours of walking. The elevation is about 5500 ft. The villagers are very industrious and grow rice and other grains and vegetables, and have water buffalo and cows.

Social Organization:

This is a work in progress. Initial plans include and involve initial meetings with the villagers to form a cooperative – preferably women based – where the villagers themselves are informed of the project technology and costs and then they will help decide the responsibility, use and payments required. Historically, successful development projects of this scale require a commitment of villagers’ labor, some cash or both to insure that they have a personal concept of ownership, commitment and responsibility. There are issues of initial and ongoing costs like replacement batteries and other technological items that will ultimately fail over time.  I anticipate problems of what may be an excessive expense for the poorest in the village. The problem of how the batteries are collected delivered and returned to and from the charging location needs to be resolved. Someone may need to take responsibility for handling the charging on a daily basis. This person will need training and may have to be compensated for their time. These and other issues can only be resolved cooperatively with the villagers and the best solutions will likely come with changes over time.

Responses

  1. Hi Mitch… sounds like a wonderful humanitarian project…having hiked those trails, I know how remote the villages can be…I would love to hike again in Nepal someday…

    I imagine that this cooperative creating adventure may shift the dynamics of the village too…cooperative is good!

    Anyway, keep me posted..aloha, Susan

  2. best nature picture!!!


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