Kathmandu roads during monsoon

Take a look at the Nepali Times 2.30 mins clip of a bike’s journey from Jorpati to Chabahil in the city of Kathmandu, Nepal.  Grant it, it is monsoon season which makes things worse, but Jorpati is as bad as this clip shows … at least it was 6 weeks ago when I was there.

Many people with disabilities live in Jorpati due to its proximity to the Orthopedic Hospital, so you can imagine the challenges facing those on crutches or in a wheelchair, trying to make their way around!

I had not realized the schoolgirl who fell into the drain, actually died.

Besides the crowds, crazy traffic and pollution, this is one of the reasons why I spend as little time as possible in Kathmandu, especially during monsoon.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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10 Responses to Kathmandu roads during monsoon

  1. Becky Dawson says:

    I’m very saddened by this dear person being swallowed. I did not think Kathmandu was like this – I think I have a 70’s hippie cafe Kathmandu idea in my head. I wish peace for everyone and I do feel guilty for living so safe during my days. I do not understand the meaning of life – I think I am not alone there…

    • Kate Coffey says:

      Ever since I began to travel to Nepal in 2008, there are holes in the street (no sidewalks to speak of) where great care must be taken not to fall into them, especially at night. Flooding and muddy waters make it more difficult. This is how it is I’m afraid.

  2. I am so saddened to see this. It was never so bad as this in 1986. I suppose the population pressures and earthquake have not helped.
    I have a interest in Nepal. I used to support a charity there at an orphanage. Did to travel there for work, may I ask?

    • Kate Coffey says:

      If you were there in the late 80s, you would have been there before the Maoist-led civil war 1996-2006. The civil war deeply affected the country and put a stop to much infrastructure development. Since 2006, there has been an unstable environment with governments changing every year or so, and parties vying for the public funds.

      In a weird way, I would say the earthquake helped Kathmandu infrastructure get back on it’s feet. With so many global donations, it’s been possible to rebuild & extend the water services as well as drainage pipes throughout the city. However, the work has taken years and needless to say, not planned very well in terms of completing sections prior to monsoon.

      What you are seeing in this clip is the laying of water services pipes in Boudha and Jorpati which is a good thing … but the work should have been well completed before monsoon. It didn’t and this is what you get. Even without monsoon, there are holes everywhere, on the remnants of sidewalks and on the roads so even in the dead of night, you put your life at risk walking without a flashlight!

      My heart belongs to Nepal to, I first went there trekking etc in 2008 and 2011 and then returned to work there in 2013 at the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Bhainsepati, about 2 hours east of Kathmandu. I have returned multiple times to work with SIRC and was heavily involved in post-earthquake work at the centre. I also do some work for small businesses as well as a foundation that supports Nepali young ladies receive 3rd level education. Where did you work??

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