Following the earthquakes in April 2015, the Government of Nepal mandated that housing reconstruction be homeowner-driven. Therefore Build Change’s strategy is to capacitate other organizations such as the Nepalese Government, INGOs, and local NGOs, to become facilitators of safe construction practices and implementers of safe reconstruction at scale. In January 2016, we were officially registered as an INGO in Nepal.
218 Safer Buildings
565 People Trained
254 Local Jobs Created
3 Organizations Changed
Ten days after the earthquake, Build Change deployed three engineers to Nepal to perform an initial survey of the earthquake-affected area in and around Kathmandu, with the goal of understanding why houses and schools collapsed and why they did not.
Our team is now leading technical assistance programs for rebuilding disaster-resistant houses and schools. We are focused on working alongside government agencies, NGOs, local engineers, builders, homeowners, and community members in the ongoing reconstruction activities through developing technical resources for new construction and retrofit of houses and schools. We are also using these resources to build the capacity of local and international partners to rebuild disaster-resistant houses and schools.
Partnerships & Technical Resources
Developing key partnerships with the Nepalese Government, international and local NGOs, and local universities has been a primary focus since the beginning. We have Memorandums of Understanding with local NGOs, and the Nepalese Government’s Vocational Training Branch. Build Change’s safe construction guidelines have been disbursed through many of these partners, which will impact an estimated 440,000 homeowners who are expected to rebuild without cement.
An in-depth analysis of needs and priorities amongst rural homeowners impacted by the earthquake was completed within a year of the earthquake. In conjunction with this study, a flyer was developed to explain how to demolish houses safely and clarify which materials can and cannot be reused. 32,000 copies of this flyer were distributed through Mercy Corps, Christian AID, and HELP.
Many times, local builders have knowledge and skills from hands-on experience. Trainings for builders focus on improving these skills and integrating small disaster-resistant technical shifts. Each builder’s existing skills and knowledge are evaluated, and the trainings are tailored to fill the gaps in prior knowledge. In Nepal, American Red Cross/Nepal Red Cross Society and World Renew have supported trainings for almost 440 builders since the earthquake in 2015.
Community theater is a long standing tradition in Nepal. We are working with a local theater troupe to share knowledge of basic safe construction techniques through this medium, reaching large and enthusiastic audiences.
Through community theater performances like this one in Sangachok VDC, Sindhupalchok, we are reaching communities with the basics of safe construction. To date, we estimate that we have reached nearly 9,500 people through these performances.