ASF Nepal: Building Back Better

“More than 498,852 houses collapsed and more than 256,697 houses were damaged following 25 April Earthquake killing more than 8500 people. The reconstruction of all these houses and other infrastructure require involvement of lots of Architects, Engineers and other experts to make it economical, socially acceptable, contextual and sustainable.

Architects have versatile role as Humanitarian Practitioners in the process of Recovery and Reconstruction involving people besides their regular job of product design (building). ASF Nepal, being an organization of humanitarian Architects and Engineers is working in various affected districts after Gorkha Earthquake with the vision of moving beyond Architects traditional role of a building designer to become facilitator of building processes that involve people and community.

After the devastating earthquake on 25th April that shook Nepal which killed more than 8500 people and injured countless. It was a time of panic and instability. People were with fear not only from the earthquake but from the thoughts of how life would be after the earthquake, with limited amount of food and proper and safe shelter. After the earthquake, ASF Nepal took careful steps in the relief and recovery process. It started with the Relief phase:

Relief Phase: Revive Nepal Project

This project involved partnership between 20 different organizations with more than 150 volunteers (included Architects and Engineers). The project served 30 villages from 8 districts which included more than 6000 households and 30000 families.

Major Works:
– Construction of Temporary Community Toilets for Disable People
– Building Assessments, Putting Safety Marks and Debris Management
– Debris Management and Distribution of Safety Kits
– Distribution of Solar Lamps in Gatlang, Rasuwa

Recovery and Reconstruction Phase

ASF Nepal is providing technical assistance in various districts of Nepal like Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Dolakha, Dhading, Ramechhap, Kavrepalanchowk and planning to work in Gorkha and also in Urban Area. We have established Technical Support Office (TSO) in Kathmandu and Sindhupalchowk as a resource center providing technical support to NGOs and CBOs for their Post Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction activities in Partnership with Architecture and Developpment (A&D) funded by Fondation De France (FDF).

We are providing Technical Support focusing on Build Back Better and Safer Criteria with inclusion of Disable and Old Age people and Green Initiatives. Our vision is to promote the Local Building Culture of the area, strengthening local people with the capabilities to BBBS with enhancing their knowledge on Local Building Technologies with Promotion of Local Materials and Training local Human Resources to achieve the goal of Safe and Livable Habitat by building Earthquake Resistance Houses with Better Build Environment.

We are supporting more than 20 National NGOs by providing Technical Support to them like NGO Federation, Central Tea Cooperative Federation (CTCF) Ltd, Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation Ltd., ARSOW Nepal, Pourakhi Nepal etc. The TSO has been providing various supports in terms of design, cost estimate, structural standards, site validation, assessment, etc. to promote the “Build Back Better and Safer Criteria”. Recently, the TSO organized seminar on “How can the build back better and safer commitment become a real achievement in Nepal” which acted as a platform to all the NGOs interested in recovery and reconstruction process.

Besides that, the TSO has launched Sindhupalchok Pilot Reconstruction program which focuses in the reconstruction of 2000 household in 3 VDC (Gunsa, Thangpaldhap and Thangpalkot Villages) of Sindhupalchok District.

-Pawan Shestra, ASF Nepal