Our Project Area
The VDC Kumbu-Kasthali
(also spelled Kuvu Kastali), which is sponsored by the Initiative Kronberg 96
since early 1997, is situated in the District of Ramechhap, south-east of Jiri.
It is an area of rather insufficient infrastructure: not until 2007 was the
place connected to the world outside by a primitive track, only usable by 4WD,
and to date only four of the nine Wards (villages) have power supply, mostly
isolated for each Ward only. Also, communication with the local coordinator
used to be rather difficult in the past, as there had been no telephone link
prior to 2008. E-mail communication was possible only whenever the coordinator
happened to be either in Kathmandu or in Charikot, in the adjacent District of
More and more areas that were previously accessible on foot only (such as Kumbu-Kasthali) are made accessible to vehicles with four-wheel drive through the construction of simple tracks, which allow for a speed of 10-20 kmh only.
The construction of such tracks is financed by foreign sponsors according to the concept "Food for Work". In this concept also women are accepted and work hard.
Each farmer has to overcome big altitude differences when working in the fields.
Our VDC Kumbu-Kasthali
has a population of about 4000 (result of the last census of 2001). It covers
about 20 sq km in area and is situated between 1,300m and 2,900m in altitude.
The local community is divided into nine villages called "Wards". The
Wards' interests are represented by a chairman, who in normal times is elected
by the local population. Since Maoist rule, however, there were no communal elections any more, subsequently no elected
representatives in the VDC. Seven of the nine wards feature schools, which are
all sponsored by us.
Up until 2007, the
provision of much-needed goods was ensured solely through porters. Water supply
is usually established through hoses or PVC pipelines, which run from a
protected spring to the villages or an area close to the houses. There is no
sewer system, and only few private buildings have a toilet, which usually comes
in form of a pit latrine.
"VDC" stands for Village Development Committee, and is the lowest
administration unit in Nepal where under normal circumstances the
representatives are still elected (as for towns in Germany). The difference,
however, lies in the fact that in the predominantly rural Nepal (urban
population not over 18%) there are many VDCs with large areas often reaching
district size in Germany.