Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Shake Table demonstrated in Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City, also interaction on safer construction held

Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City, Dang has organized Shake Table Demonstration and Interaction programs focusing on safer building construction on February 11, 2019. The activities held as the municipal level ESD program organized by Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City at its office premises. Shake-table demonstration and observation of model retrofitting building were conducted with the participation of various stakeholders.

Nepal has been commemorating the ESD every year on January 15 or 16 to mark the great 1934 Nepal-Bihar Earthquake. Ghorahi Sub-Metro, however, organized the event on February 11, 2019, nearly one month after the scheduled date, due festival holiday on January 16.

Speaking at the program, Mr. Baijanath Chaudhary, Minister for Physical Planning and Infrastructure urged all the municipal stakeholders to work for the effective implementation of national building code. "Nepal is highly prone to earthquake. Therefore, implementation of National Building Code is must to minimize the human and property loss during the future earthquakes," Mr. Chaudhary stressed. He also informed that provincial government is also planning to draft a law with view to ensure safer building construction.

Mr. Naru Lal Chaudhary, Mayor, highlighted that Ghorahi was a leading municipality in Nepal in terms of effective Building Code Implementation (BCI) and vowed to continue the current efforts in days to come.

Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Executive Director at NSET, briefed about the efforts, progress and status of BCI and disaster risk reduction initiatives of Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City on the occasion. "The current success will certainly guide and help in its future activities as well," Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha added.

Mr. Ramdhuni Shrestha, senior engineer at the Sub-Metro, highlighted about municipality's initiative to introduce the policy of retrofitting for existing houses that were built earlier without incorporating the earthquake resistant components and as to how such effort is being implemented.

Addressing the program, Mr. Laxman Acharya, a house owner whose house is being retrofitted as part of model retrofitting building project in Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City, shared his experience of implementation of seismic retrofitting technology. Expressing happiness over the project, he also extended his sincere thanks to Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City and NSET for choosing his house for model retrofitting of building.

The formal interaction program was chaired by Mr. Narulal Chaudhary, the Mayor, and inaugurated by Minister Baijanath Chaudhary. Ms. Sita Neupane, Deputy Mayor, welcomed the participants present at the program.

The program saw the participation of around 500 people including provincial minister, provincial lawmakers, chief district officer, elected municipal representatives, municipal officials, NSET representatives, engineers, representatives of technical colleges and academic institutions, Nepal Army, Nepal Police Armed Police Force, construction workers, journalists and house owners among others.

During the program, a Shake Table demonstration was also organized with view to spread awareness on the effectiveness of earthquake-resistant construction and also to convince the general people on the importance of the earthquake resistant constriction. For this, two small identical building models, made up of the same construction material, were placed on a table and they were vibrated. The building models were prepared in line with the building pattern being practiced in Dang district where one of the models was built with the normal construction practice while the other one incorporating seismic resistant components.

Mr. Shova Ram Bhattarai, Civil Engineer, from NSET had briefed the general public about process and the objectives of Shake Table, damages occurred after being vibrated and the reason behind them. He also highlighted the effectiveness of each earthquake resistant components and the way they are incorporated.

Meanwhile, a model retrofitting building being built with the technical assistance of NSET was also observed by various stakeholders on the occasion. The model building was retrofitted in line with the seismic retrofitting concept. The construction of model retrofitting building was done with view to transfer the technical knowledge and skills to the construction workers including masons and engineers. It was also aimed at demonstrating the locals, technicians, masons and other stakeholders regarding its construction techniques and methodology.

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