Recently, the members of INTENT Nepal developed the annual plan for 2021. Unfortunately, the plans are highly dominated by the COVID-19 situation in Nepal. When we look back on 2020, some activities could continue online, but to find compensation for the decreasing income of ECEC, the staff salaries had to be lowered.
In October, the World Health Organization mentions a high case load in the Kathmandu District that is contributing to the significantly high level of contribution to the national case load in Kathmandu valley and the Bagmati province.
As of 7 October 2020, a total of 90.813 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the country. All 7 provinces and 77 districts have reported one or more cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in Nepal. In the last 14 days, 24.182 cases were reported which constitutes to 26.6 % of total confirmed cases in the country. This illustrates the increasing trend in the numbers.
INTENT activities online
This has resulted in the fact that many activities in INTENT could not be continued. For example, the start of the teacher education course had to be postponed. However, we are grateful that our development activities could continue! The ECEC-office is still closed, but the staff try to continue many activities online.
Risk of infection spreading
In the coming weeks, the imminent festival season and the large volume of travel out of the Kathmandu valley need special attention in terms of risk communication and safe public transport travel arrangements to mitigate the risk of spread of infection. The increasing numbers in the neighbour country India, connected via open borders, mean a threat to the situation in Nepal as well.
Lowering the salaries
As a result of the discontinuation of activities, the ECEC management have had to make a though decision. To find a compensation for the decreasing income of ECEC, the salaries had to be lowered. We are aware that this measurement has an impact on the staff, but sadly the management have no other choice.
We hope and pray that with all the (online) activities it will be possible for ECEC and INTENT to survive in this difficult situation and that soon there will be a change in the situation!