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Langtang people reviving tourism locally

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People poured in to offer their voluntary labour to construct a more convenient trail at Briddhim VDC on the way to Langtang in Rasuwa.

Locals from Briddhim VDC in Rasuwa district provide labour to reconstruct a road vital to tourism

Rasuwa, October 3, 2016: Home to the Langtang National Park and the pristine Gosainkunda lake, the mainstay of Rasuwa district is tourism. With 65 percent of the district’s terrain above 3,000 metres, it is one of Nepal’s most visited districts for trekking and hiking.

The earthquakes last year hit Rasuwa particularly hard. The scenic village of Langtang, home to 500 people, was utterly devastated and much of the infrastructure vital to the tourism industry, like roads, hotels and lodges, were damaged or destroyed.

To help revive the tourism industry in Rasuwa, people there have started a reconstruction drive to rebuild damaged infrastructures like community buildings, trekking routes, heritage trails and bridges.

“Tourism is vital to our lifestyles,” says Nima Chhiring Tamang, a woman leader from Briddhim VDC in Rasuwa. Locals including Nima recently completed the reconstruction of 4.5-kilometre tourism trail from Bhanjyang Gumba to Langmale of Briddhim in 45 days. This section of the road is a crucial part of the foot trail to a popular Langtang valley. This trail cuts short the trekking route to Langtang valley by an hour and the road is much easier for trekkers. Moreover, people no longer need to pass through the treacherously steep and difficult Bhanjyang-Surkha-Malmalekharka section of the road.

“Earlier, trekkers often got lost in the alpine jungle. So many sub-trails were created along the route. There were no signposts along the road and the steep climb of Surkha and Malmalekharka prompted trekkers to take alternative roads through other VDCs,” said Sarki Tamang, one of 30 villagers who worked on the road construction.

The new trail from Bhanjyang Gumba to Langmale is an example that recovery projects can be successfully completed when people provide the voluntary labour contribution.

Now that the construction of the trail is complete, the villagers are hopeful that more visitors will pass through Briddhim and in return, will bring more business.

Courtesy: UNDP