The Government of Nepal is running a large infrastructure programme, “Strengthening the National Rural Transport program” (SNRTP), with financial assistance from the World Bank with technical support provided by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The project helps to maintain and upgrade rural roads and crossing structures. ILO’s support focuses primarily on decent job creation through the promotion of labour-intensive methods for road maintenance, incorporating a pro-poor, inclusive and gender-responsive approach in carrying out its work through Road Maintenance Groups (RMG). Occupational health and safety issues are well considered.
To date, the project has generated nearly 3 million person days of employment in the maintenance of 354 roads in 36 districts across the country with the road length measuring 5,880 km. Most of the beneficiaries of the RMG are women who are now skilled at using banks and financial institutions for transaction.
The project has also helped to develop women’s negotiation skills, and has empowered many to take on new roles as community group leaders.
Once of the lessons learnt it is that it has been difficult for women to maintain a work life balance. In addition, given the high poverty and low education, convincing them to use personal protective equipment (PPEs) at workplace has not been easy.