Distillation unit installation
Humla is a remote and mountainous district situated in the north-west corner of Nepal, Bordering with China. Its elevation ranges from 1,524 to 7,337 meters above the sea level. The district is considered as one of the most remote and isolated regions in Nepal, reachable only by foot or small aircrafts which are irregularly landing in the district head quarter, Simikot. There is no direct flight to Simikot from Kathmandu and can only be reached from Nepalgunj with 50 minutes flight. The aircrafts are irregular because the climate, geographical condition of Humla is always challenging. Even for the helicopters to reach the districts is not that easy.
Our field visit, research, data from various government organizations, local farmers, collectors etc showed almost 90% of MAPs from the district are being traded to Nepalgunj and exported to India without processing. We found that Jatamansi available in large quantity in the district is regarded as the best quality MAP but traded in raw form should be value added.
After our feasibility study for the installation of distillation, Rimi village was the best area but was two and half days walk from Simikot. The trail to the village goes through narrow gorge with rocky walls and path along the high cliff beside the Karnali River. The common means of transportation are mules to bring required products from Simikot. To take along 800 kg distillation unit even by the fit people of Humla was impossible through the path from Simikot to Rimi village.
The vessel of the distillation unit did not fit inside the aircraft which can land in the airport of Simikot. It also did not fit inside the helicopter. The helicopters which fitted the unit were quite busy and we had no choice but to carry along the unit by hanging. The task was very risky. We had set our vision, and promised our community. We accepted the risk. We brought the unit from the factory of Gaidakot to Rakam village to shorten the distance. We analyzed every risk, planned every step, coordinated with every authority, calculated every cost and successfully landed in the village and installed the unit.
We could see the villagers full of happiness, celebration, hope of development and prosperity.