Rural Access Program, Implementation Phase (CNTR 98 6604, Nepal)

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Client: DFID/Department of Local Infrastructure Development & Agricultural Roads
Funding Agency: Department for International Development
Period: August 2001 to October 2008
Consulting Association: WSP Imc, Helvetas Nepal, GEOCE Consultants (P) Ltd
Approx. Value of Services: GEOCE’s part- NRs 89.2 million
Professional Staff Input: International (132) and National (1380) person months. GEOCE’s part 894 person months

Salient Details

The Program (RAP) objective was to improve the livelihoods of the poor and disadvantaged in the 6 hill districts (Sangkhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Khotang, Achham, Dailekha and Doti) through the improvement of access to valued services and goods. The programme comprised construction of 90 km feeder and some 250 km of district roads (Bhojpur-Chyandanda, Bhojpur Airport-Bhojpur, Diktel-Chyandanda, Myaglung-Ishibu-Sankranti Bazar, Chainpur-Nundhaki and Bhyangkhola-Chhyankuti) and upgrading of trails and footbridges along these roads. To ensure a truly sustainable impact on the poor and disadvantaged, the building of rural roads in Nepal must be accompanied by a series of complementary interventions.  ‘Improved Physical Access’ must lead to real improvements in rural access and contribute to livelihood sustainability, particularly where need is greatest. Hence RAP aimed to provide physical improvement (mainly roads), both for access by service providers and the poor and complementary activities to build capacity in response to local circumstances, needs and priorities. The Program cost was US$66 million.

Services were provided for surveys and studies, design, construction supervision, monitoring and evaluation to achieve physical rural access improvements together with policy development and social aspects through enhancing and protection interventions which form 20% of the project scope. The details of services included:

  • Central Policy: investigation, development of rural access policy and support of GoN central policy unit.
  • Lessons learning and information dissemination: – development of an information system, design and    management of a national rural accessibility database and building of effective district communication.
  • Accessibility planning: – introduction of the rural accessibility planning process through preparation of district transport master plans and development plans, establishment of funding mechanisms and maintenance systems for transport infrastructure and setting up community based audit systems.
  • Construction of District and Feeder Roads: – engineering survey and design, IEE, land acquisition, formation and training of road construction groups and small contractors, establishment of implementation unit and programs, compensation and resettlement plan, bid documentation, civil works procurements, construction supervision of road construction, and social and environmental mitigation.
  • Environmental and Social Development – preparation of briefs, appraisals and EIA, raising of awareness, definition of best practice, livelihood enhancement, decision making support and exit strategies to ensure sustainable development.
  • Improving Rural Livelihoods: – establishment of enterprise roles, markets, partners, groups and facilitation of the provision of appropriate technical and business know-how and access to resources and assets.
  •   Overall program management elements
  • Establishment and operation of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system.

Rural Infrastructure Development Project, Construction Supervision of and Social Mobilization for Outstanding Civil Works

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Client: Department of Local Infrastructure Development & Agricultural Roads
Funding Agency: Asian Development Bank
Period: December 2003 to March 2005
Consulting Association: GEOCE Consultants (P) Ltd, REMREC, RES and CYC,
Approx. Value of Services: Total NRs 49 million, GEOCE’s part – NRs 43.2 million
Professional Staff Input: National (Total 215 person months, GEOCE-163, REMREC-17, RES-17, CYC-18)

Salient Details

The primary objective of the project was to reduce poverty among the rural population in the hill region by improving access of the rural population to opportunities, resources and services. The project comprised three components: construction of some 260 km rural roads (in Kavre, Tanahun, and Baglung districts) using labour-based, environment-friendly and participatory (LEP) approach, small scale multi-purpose community buildings in about 90 villages to enhance village-level community development, and awareness campaigns on LEP approach in road construction, self-help initiative, women’s active participation, environmental protection.

Major scope of services was categorized into (i) Technical tasks comprising survey, design review/design and construction supervision of road works of (Khopasi-Taldhunga, 65 km; Bhimad-Chihandanda-Deorali-Baidi, 38 km; Bhimad-Dhakardi-Bhirkot, 35 km; Belbhanjyang-Deorali, 13 km; Baglung-Kusmishera, 21 km and Baglung-Burtibang, 90 km); and (ii) Social mobilization tasks comprising activities to enhance genuine people’s participation, formation of local labor groups, ensure fair working condition to the laborers and transparent wage payment, institutional development of road user committees, training and awareness raising programs in road construction. The social mobilization activities were carried out by NGOs (REMREC in Kavre, RES in Tanahun & CYC in Baglung) under supervision and coordination of GEOCE. Total cost of project was about US$ 11.2 million. The construction cost of outstanding civil works was about US$ 2.52 million.

Support to Ministry of Physical Planning and Works Program

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Client: DFID/Department of Roads
Funding Agency: Department for International Development
Period: February 2004 to September 2008
Consulting Association: WSP Imc, GEOCE Consultants (P) Ltd
Approx. Value of Services: GEOCE’s part- NRs 36.9 million
Professional Staff Input: GEOCE’s part 198 person months

Salient Details

The program comprised upgrading of about 90 km roads to all weather feeder roads as per DOR standards; related livelihood improvements for poor people in these road corridors through involvement in road works.  The project works were executed using labour-based, environment friendly and participatory approach for simple road works such as earthworks and small structures.  Local contractors were involved for specific construction works such as pavement upgrading and major structures. The approximate cost of the project for feeder road upgrading and related livelihoods promotion program was US$ 11.5 million.

The scope of services include Survey, design, bid documents preparation, procurement of works and goods, construction supervision and project management of Bhalubang-Pyuthan (64 km) and Basantpur-Myaglung (26 km) feeder roads upgrading. The road works comprised spot improvement of road geometry, drainage improvement, pavement (partly Otta seal and premix and partly gravel in case of Basantpur-Myaglung road and partly gravel in case of Bhalubang-Pyuthan) and slope stabilization. Also involved activities related to social mobilization for road construction/upgrading and implementation of livelihoods promotion programs.

Rural Access Program 2

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Client: DFID/Department of Local Infrastructure Development & Agricultural Roads
Funding Agency: Department for International Development
Period: October 2008 to December 2012
Consulting Association: WSP Imc, Helvetas Nepal, GEOCE Consultants (P) Ltd
Approx. Value of Services: GEOCE’s part- NRs 38.4 million
Professional Staff Input: International (102) and National (624) person months. GEOCE’s part 330 person months

Salient Details

The Rural Access Programme (RAP) is a UK Government-funded poverty alleviation programme to improve the livelihoods of the poor and disadvantaged and marginalized group in the programme districts (Terahthum, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Khotang, Achham, Dailekh and Doti) through the improvement of access to valued services and goods. RAP also supports construction of supplementary infrastructure (water supply, health and education facilities, markets etc.) selected by communities along road corridors and provide funding for maintenance. It included capacity building and institutional support to develop local government capacity and benchmark district performance and support the harmonization of donor support into a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp). Green road approach followed in design and construction of roads.

In RAP 2, the scope of physical infrastructures included completion of 150 km rural roads. The roads include  Dipayal- Patihalane Road (22.3 km) km; Rajpur-Chamara-Chautara (31.1km); Timilsen-Ramasoshan (22.9 km); Kamal Bazar- Jhulaghar (15.3 km); Ramaghat-Singhasain (12 km); Desigade-Mahabu-(20.5 km); Chupra-Meheltoli (14.5 km); Diktel-Khotang Bazar (50 km); Bhojpur- Ghodetar (35 km); Hile Bhanjyang-Dingla (35km); Chainpur- Barahbise (36.2 km); Myanglung-Sankaranti (57 km). Program Cost is £35 million.

Services were provided for studies, design, construction, monitoring and evaluation to achieve physical rural access improvements together with social development aspects. These include:

  • Project preparation (survey, design, estimates and IEE) of rural roads
  • Bid documentation and procurements of works, goods and services (consultants, NGOs)
  • Construction supervision of road building (through small works contract, special building groups, road building groups)
  • Income generating activities (demand survey, planning and prioritization, implementation, participatory training)
  • Supplementary infrastructures (assistance to DDC, guideline preparation, advise on design and cost estimates of water supply, irrigation, community buildings)
  • Road maintenance works (assist to DDC on maintenance planning, train maintenance managers)
  • M & E (physical works, environmental mitigation monitoring, SED works, evaluation to find 2 best performing districts)