Dear Friends and Supporters
The hard winter is now over and it is easier to get around in Nepal’s remotest district of Humla. Of course ‘easier’ is relative when walking is your only option. The lack of roads and the other infrastructures we are used to makes movement slow and laborious. This part of Nepal is also very poor and food deficient. More than 50% of children die in infancy and the average lifespan is only 58 years.
Once an economic powerhouse reliant on the salt trade from Tibet, finally succumbed to cheaper iodized Indian salt. Salt caravans are now a very rare sight.
The economy is slowly improving as tourism begins to take over and the area has become the official gateway to holy Mount Kailash in Tibet. This religious tourism is bringing many pilgrims from India and elsewhere to the region to fulfil a dream. Lodges and eating-places are popping up all along the main trail to cater for this demand. Renewable energy has become a very important source of electricity for the new economy and is expanding. It is also a clean energy that contributes to a healthier society
The Nepal Trust has been a leader in the development of this technology often in some of the most remote places. More have been installed by others but some are non-operational or only partially working due to a lack of effective maintenance.
The planned Renewable Energy Service Centre will facilitate the local maintenance of existing and future installations and offer much needed electrical, mechanical and related services, spares and repairs. It will provide the means for mountain villages to improve and sustain their livelihoods through clean energy technologies and to benefit from the consequent employment and business opportunities that develop alongside. Indirectly the Service centre project will also contribute to conserving the environment and forests that are depleting fast.
We are still in discussions with our chosen partner Ngo, LIDS, who will manage the Centre on our behalf. We hope to conclude our agreement over the next few weeks and then push ahead with the installation of machinery and equipment much, of which, will have to be sourced from India. We apologise for the apparent slowness but things do take time in this remote part of the world. A sick man in Humla may have to walk 2 days to get help but getting there is the most important thing! I hope to have some real positive progress by the next report.
Thanks to you all for your support and patience. We hope you will remain with us and pass on the news to your friends. Climate change and the damage to our environment are very much in the news these days. Your continued support and help will be a contribution to helping solve some of these issues.
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