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July 2009 - Community Service and Trekking in Nepal

Pangum Village Project Update

The published programme for this project scheduled for Oct/Nov 2009 has been postponed. The decision has reluctantly been made because of the withdrawal of expected numbers of participants, due primarily to the unforeseen increased costs in Nepal and the drastic decline in the Pound/Dollar exchange rate.

Nepal Trekking must make payments for all services in Nepal in US Dollars. From the beginning of 2008, when the decline of the exchange rate began, it has caused an unprecedented increase in our costs.

On a positive note, at June 2009, the Pound/Dollar exchange rate is improving a little, even if very slowly. It is to be hoped this will be a good sign for the future for all aspects of our operation in Nepal. We must hope it continues to improve and this will be kept under review.

With an exploration group and youth expedition groups, as well as individuals interested, we had been hopeful of completing the project in the village. I remain hopeful that they may return if the financial situation becomes more favourable.

The main project work, renewing the trails from the village up to the Monastery, still requires to be undertaken and I will be hoping to have discussion with the villagers and the Head Lama of the Monastery in Pangum later this year. Efforts will be made to revise the projected work in the village to reduce the overall costs in view of the difficult financial situation prevailing at the present time.

The project work in the village would have given work to local stonecutters and masons as well as Sherpa trekking staff. Nepal Trekking looks at this aspect as a major part of this project, with the overall aim of giving assistance and employment to our Sherpa staff and others with our operations in Nepal. We will hope to review this project so that we can be available when the conditions are more favourable. It may be necessary to concentrate only on the trails and leave the building of the ornate entrance gateways until later.

Meanwhile, please do consider this project, by taking part you can Make A Difference. The global financial difficulties are affecting the local people of Nepal also and with the many other problems in their everyday life we consider this a very worthwhile project. The village project and trekking format, shown in the website, will remain the basics of any revised programme and can be used for information and planning purposes.

Nepal Trekking understands the global situation that is affecting many in the 'western countries' and their economies. We also see at first hand the problems facing a large majority of the population in Nepal. They also have no work or jobs, there is no future to be seen in many sectors, the tourism sector is particularly vulnerable. Political instability is also contributing to their difficulties.

Even with the present difficult situation in Nepal it is still possible to manage clients visits and it is necessary to encourage visits to assist the employment of those in the tourism industry and others reliant on it.

We look forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in this specific project, individuals, small groups of friends, organisations, your efforts and your involvement will be very much appreciated and you will Make A Difference.

Denis Gallagher
Nepal Trekking
July 2009