The annual consignment of approximately 13,000 books (1,962 kg) arrived at Kathmandu airport on 26th August 2019. As a new tax had recently been levied on new books arriving in Nepal, there was some confusion over the status of ‘secondhand books’ and clearance was delayed for several months. To date this consignment remains impounded at the airport. Although it was possible to transfer some books between schools, the five new libraries created in September and October are largely still empty and waiting for their books.
As should be expected, Book Reach can no longer continue to create libraries and provide library books in schools in the town of Hetauda. Following seven years of hard work by the beneficiary schools and individuals who have contributed to the development of these libraries, I send my apologies – and to Krishna Gopal Shrestha, who has given so freely of his energy and expertise to bring the gift of library books to these needy schools.
The new library in the English-medium campus of Siddhartha School, Hetauda, still awaiting the impounded books from the airport
We do not yet know how the beneficiary schools in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will manage the dispersal of their donated books this year. Singapore will not be sending any books at all. A total of seven schools in Kota Belud and Penampang, Sabah, will be receiving books as soon as the logistics are back to a degree of normality.