From 30 November to 5 December 2022, the Secretariat visited Nepal to meet with Pokhara Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, and NSET. The visit was conducted by Ms. Danbee Lee, Senior Program Officer at CityNet Secretariat and Mr. Kendra Hirata, Executive Director at CityNet Plus Arts Center for Creative Partnership.
The visit to Pokhara Metropolitan City was conducted as a follow-up of the 9th CityNet Congress. During the 9th General Council that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Mayor of Pokhara expressed interest in hosting the 10th CityNet Congress that is expected to take place in 2026. Accordingly, the Secretariat made a visit to Pokhara, as a host city candidate. The visit was supported by three colleagues from NSET as a CityNet Nepal National Chapter host attended by Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Mr. Ganesh K Jimee, and Mr. Suman Pradhan.
The visit was conducted for two days. On the first day, the Secretariat made a presentation to brief on the overall concept and preparation for the CityNet Congress. The briefing meeting was attended by the Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer, and heads of 11 departments and 20 divisions. In response, the Mayor of Pokhara stated that PMC will consider this potential opportunity to develop the city’s infrastructure and stated that if PMC becomes a host for the 10th CityNet Congress, CityNet members in Nepal will also be taking a role as co-hosts. After the meeting, visits for site inspection were made until the end of the mission in Pokhara, including six different accommodations and hotels, Pokhara International Airport, and three potential site visits including a museum, temple, and viewpoint.
Over the next few days, the Secretariat made a visit to Lalitpur Metropolitan City. On the first day, the Secretariat and CityNet Plus Arts Creative Center for Partnerships made a courtesy visit to the Mayor of Lalitpur. During the meeting, the mayor shared new initiatives that Lalitpur Metropolitan City has been taking to make a greener city. This includes installing more streetlights with CCTV, building more green parks, testing bicycle lanes, and plans for adopting shared bicycles. Other than this, the mayor emphasized adopting more mobile bathrooms and mobile restaurants for the convenience of the citizens. Lastly, the mayor shared a remarkable sense of ownership and responsibility that the citizens of Lalitpur have by explaining how the community has been contributing to taking care of community dogs and preserving cultural heritage.
After the meeting with the Mayor, the Secretariat made a visit to the public hospital and conducted a meeting with medical staff and public health department of LMC in order to assess the situation and responses regarding Dengue fever. This was scheduled as the Mayor of Lalitpur requested support from neighbouring cities to share knowledge on Dengue fever response during the 42nd Executive Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Guided by the medical staff from the Patan Hospital, the inspection was done by checking the oxygen tanks that can provide oxygen for 500 patients on average. This was adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2021. This is the first time that Lalitpur is experiencing Dengue fever, as it is a tropical disease, so to learn more about how the medical arrangements were done during the Dengue fever, the Secretariat conducted an interview with a medical doctor.
Noting from the visit to the hospital that prevention is critical when it comes to Dengue fever, the Secretariat had a meeting with a Public Health Department from LMC. The meeting was attended by the Chief of Public Health, the Health Section Coordinator, and the Social Development Committee which was established in April 2022. During the meeting, the health department shared its preparation and response to Dengue fever. The first Dengue case happened in June 2022. The department staff explained how measurements were done and what kind of needs they have to prepare for the next year’s Dengue season.
Lastly, the visit was concluded by conducting a meeting with NSET, a host of the National Chapter Nepal. During the meeting, the Secretariat discussed how to plan next year’s activity with NC Nepal and the strategy for member management in Nepal.
Danbee Lee is a Senior Program Officer at CityNet and has a background in International Security and Economics. Prior to joining CityNet, she worked at a research institute based in Seoul to conduct academic research on city revitalization and the role of local entrepreneurship in community building. She graduated with BA in Political Science and Economics, and completed her MA in International Security & Foreign Policy and International Development Cooperation. Some of her responsibilities at CityNet include coordinating with members in several countries and overall coordination of CityNet legislative meetings.