1) THE IMPORTANCE OF ROADS IN NEPAL
Roads are vital to development in Nepal. They help generate employment and improve access to markets, economic opportunities, health services and education. Prioritising sustainability of the roads in each of these components helps ensure that all subsequent development is resilient to economic, political and environmental insecurity.
2) LABOUR-BASED CONSTRUCTION
RAP does not just see the construction of the road itself as a means to improve the lives of local communities. As a part of its design the programme uses what is call the LEP approach - Labour-based, Environmentally-friendly and Participatory. The construction teams for each section are drawn from the actual communities where the roads are being built. This generates stable employment for the community, as well as providing training and capacity building in a variety of construction methods.
It is also represents great value of the investment of UK Aid funds as it not only leaves sustainable infrastructure but provides direct cash aid to remote communities through employment.
By using labour over machinery, the construction process is also more environmentally friendly as the use of large excavators is kept to a minimum. Machinery is used where the workforce is not available and time is an issue as the work can be completed faster.