HARDLY CLOSE ENOUGH: DAYS OF FOOT-MARCHES DESPITE LANDING IN THE MOUNTAIN
Our project areas in Mugu are in so remote regions that we have to fly in small and pretty adventurous airplanes, which can only land on a gravel airstrip cut into the stone of a mountaintop. Always a dangerous manoeuvre as the pilots fly only by sight – under extremely difficult conditions. In addition, the old machines are discarded and always packed to the maximum. And from this airstrip the transportation to the project villages is only possible on foot, which means another one to two days of walking through difficult terrain. The transportation of smokeless stoves and other heavy or unhandy goods is always quite challenging.
Just in February 2016 an airplane of Tara Air, an airline we frequently use, crashed on its way from Pokhara to Jomsom. All 23 passengers on board tragically died, among them two children. Tragedies like these keep reminding us what risks our team is willing to take to work in Mugu. Traveling over land is hardly or not possible at all due to time schedules or logistical challenges, which is why we must make use of these dangerous alternative of transportation again and again.