Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

3 Years after Gorkha Earthquake: Baliyo Ghar efforts to Build Back Better

It's been 3 years of the devastating Gorkha Earthquake that occurred on 25 April 2015. The major jolt and its subsequent aftershocks led to unprecedented loss of lives and properties in Nepal. More than 8,500 persons lost their lives, more than 22,300 persons got injured and more than 765,000 houses were damaged with millions of people affected. Additionally, more than 7,500 schools, 1190 Health facilities, 370 Government Offices, 750 Heritage sites and 3,200 Water Supply Infrastructures damaged. As the designated government agency, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) is leading and managing all the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction works in Nepal.

In regard to Private Housing Reconstruction, Government of Nepal has adopted the Owner Driven Approach (ODA) where houses are rebuilt by the individual house-owners with Government assistance. The government has provided blanket financial and technical assistance to the earthquake affected families both in urban and rural areas. Also, many partner organizations are providing technical and other supports in the process.

According to NRA, till 25 April, 2018, the number of houses rebuilt has reached to 142,207 and 438,549 are under construction. Among the 619,423 beneficiaries in 14 earthquake most-hit districts who have signed agreement for government grant; 612,048 have received the first tranche, 322,201 have received second tranche and 90,295 have received third tranche of grant. Likewise, among the 208,478 registered grievances 205,584 have been redressed. As claimed by NRA more than 70 percent beneficiaries in 14 most affected districts from the April 2015 earthquake have now come under the reconstruction process. NRA estimates that it would fulfil its target of reconstructing 60 percent of private houses before mid September 2018 if the current speed of reconstruction continues unabated.

To support the government led reconstruction campaign for Build Back Better (BBB), NSET is implementing USAID Nepal supported Baliyo Ghar program. Baliyo Ghar is promoting earthquake safer housing reconstruction through blanket technical assistance conducting awareness and training activities to build seismically safer houses. This is a five years (October 2015 – September 2020) program implemented in 3 districts out of 14 severely earthquake affected districts; Dolakha, Dhading and Nuwakot and also in one Municipality in Kathmandu.

With 6 components of technical assistance; assisting in policy making, capacity building trainings, community orientations, mobile clinic, awareness raising, On-the Job Trainings,  Baliyo Ghar has been supporting earthquake affected population to ensure safer and better reconstruction. BaliyoGhar assisted NRA in developing guidelines and procedures of grant disbursement, correction manual, retrofitting and other manuals along with physical and intellectual support during enrollment processes. Likewise in close coordination with Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Baliyo Ghar assisted in developing mason training curricula each for urban masons and rural masons.

Training to construction workers, technical professionals and also urban/rural municipal officials and technical support to the house-owners through door to door mobile clinic has influenced them to build back better. The encouraging rate of reconstruction and code compliance rate in the program areas is the evidence to claim that components of technical assistance through Baliyo Ghar has been impactful.

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