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July 2010 - Wind-up torches make a difference

Once again springtime in Nepal was notable for power cuts and water shortages. The local people are becoming familiar with this routine each year with daily load shedding power cuts this time at 12 hours a day. It does of course cause much disruption and discomfort all round. With businesses both large and small not being able to keep going and with many workers with no work.

As always, it is the ordinary people of Nepal who continue to suffer, yet again, with these power cuts, water shortages and continuing rising prices. This situation continues because of the political parties apparent lack of interest in doing anything for the people and the country, only looking after their own personal interests. With the deadline of 28 May 2010 for completing the new constitution coming and going without any progress the people continue to face an uncertain future.

Following the success of taking out some wind-up torches and lamps last year more were taken this spring. We were able to make them available to various families in Kathmandu, some elderly and some needy. This type of technology does suit the situation we find in Nepal very well. When it is not necessary to have to buy batteries or to use electric to charge up it does make a difference to people on low incomes. They are also very useful in our Sherpa villages, again the fact that batteries are not required is a major plus and we have seen how useful they prove to be in many situations.

The wind-up equipment generally, and the head torches, specifically with trekking staff, are proving to be a good 'talking point' in the villages and on the trails, a good thing all round!!

Nepal Trekking is grateful to various clients and others who contributed funds towards the wind-up equipment. I will be able to assess the way various people have been able to benefit when I return to Nepal in October. I do feel these torches and lamps will have made a difference and we will probably take a further supply either in October or next spring. If anyone would like to assist with this project any donations will be gratefully received.

Nepal Trekking is grateful to Uni-Com (Global) Ltd for their continued assistance and technical information about their Wind up Equipment.

Although the spring season was again a difficult time for the local people it was manageable for tourists and our clients had no major problems. It is, generally, a changing situation with the rising costs and political uncertainty affecting tourism and those who work in it. We continue to give priority to the welfare of our Sherpa staff and their families in this time of rising cost for them as well as for clients. However, this together with increasing costs and low exchange rates is causing higher prices. We are addressing this in a number of ways and we hope clients past, present and future will appreciate and understand the situation.

Nepal Trekking does understand how the worldwide economic situation is affecting so many peoples travel plans. We also see at first hand, in Nepal, the affect that the downturn in tourist numbers is having on the local economy and many individuals. Tourism contributes a large percentage to the Nepal economy and we do need people to continue with their travel plans and to make their visits to Nepal. It will Make a Difference.