Landslides caused delays along the way, bringing home the challenges that come hand in hand with the Nepal’s development opportunities. InfraCo Asia’s visit was an essential part of the process of keeping abreast of real conditions on the ground that can affect development activities. The mission was to obtain first-hand information about the situation at project sites and any associated risks requiring mitigation.
As well as touring project sites, Allard and Ian met with Nepal’s Minister of Land Reform and Management, Minister of Energy, and with InfraCo Asia donor, the UK Department for International Development (DfID) in Nepal.
Ian McAlister joined InfraCo Asia in August this year, and his role involves ensuring that all stages of project development meet the highest quality standards, and keep to schedule. Ian said his first journey to InfraCo Asia project sites in Nepal brought home the rewards and complexities of working in early-stage development.
“Large banners were strung across the road, welcoming our visit. We gained a real sense of the very good relationship that exists between the Kabeli project preparation site team and the local community.”
Set amid a “wide and lush river valley,” Ian said the power station and dam sites will be settled sensitively into the scenic landscape.
“It was good to be able to spend time with the Kabeli project preparation site team and to see their confident and friendly interactions with the local community, particularly with respect to social and environmental management issues,” Ian said.
Heading to the LMM project site to the west of Kathmandu, in the Annapurna Conservation Area in Central Nepal, InfraCo Asia’s representatives found themselves at the equally spectacular Marsyangdi River.
The “major landslide” that disrupted Ian and Allard’s return journey necessitated a detour to Pokhara to catch the last flight of the day back to Kathmandu.
At Pokhara, Ian said a beautiful spot around Phewa Lake, near the city centre provided an oasis from the city’s industrial fringe and a picturesque final pit-stop.
“I hope to return to Nepal with more time to explore,” Ian said.
“It’s a challenging place to travel, but it will be a joy to see it develop further, provided it happens in the right way.”