Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Retrofitted houses handed over to the beneficiaries, NRA CEO says, "Retrofitted houses in Nalang will be the model for whole Nepal"

6 houses that were retrofitted as part of trainings under NSET-Baliyo Ghar have been handed over to the beneficiaries in Siddhalekh Rural Municipality, Nalang, Dhading. Chief Executive Officer of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), Mr. Sushil Gyewali inaugurated the retrofitted houses on July 3, 2019. Amidst a retrofit technology handover ceremony organized in Aaprichhap of Nalang, Mr. Gyewali handed over the retrofitted houses of Mr. Ram Prasad Naharki, Mrs. Devaki Naharki, Mrs. Mira Kunwar, Mrs. Prem Nath Yogi, Mrs. Pech Maya Giri, Mr. Surya Bahadur Kunwar, the residents of Nalang. Those houses were retrofitted through 25 days training program of Baliyo Ghar where 6 masons in each house enhanced their knowledge, skills and capacity regarding retrofit. CEO Mr. Gyewali along with other distinguished professionals representing NRA, Siddhalekh Rural Municipality, GMALI-CLPIU, CLPIU-Building, USAID, and NSET observed the ongoing retrofit site in nearby location as well.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Gyewali stressed on the need of retrofitting 70 thousand more houses in quake-hit 32 districts. "Some organizations like NSET have developed retrofit model houses, though it will not be enough, we need to scale up the retrofit to strengthen the seismic capacity of 70 thousand more houses. There are no other options than to demolish or retrofit for the partial damaged houses during Gorkha Earthquake," he said. He also believed the retrofitted houses in quake hit areas like Nalang can be the model houses for quake-hit and quake-non-hit areas where numerous vulnerable houses need to be retrofitted. He urged the trained masons to apply their skills and knowledge gained through training in retrofitting other houses in the municipality and other areas as well. He also expressed his interest in implementing retrofit in his own traditional house in Palpa district after observing the retrofitted houses.

Deputy Chief of Siddhalekh Rural Municipality, Mrs. Kamala Sharma highlighted the reconstruction progress and plans for sustainable reconstruction made by the rural municipality so far. She also claimed that they faced with the numerous pressure to enlist fake households as reconstruction beneficiaries but never did the wrong decisions. Likewise, ward Chair of Siddhalekh – 2, Mr. Kamal Bahadur Gurung briefed about the efforts made through ward in accelerating the reconstruction process along with the problems prevalent in ward. Both the representatives committed to scale up the implementation of retrofit in their rural municipality.

Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha, Executive Member of NRA said, "Retrofitting works in Nalang further increased our degree of confidence on its viability. How to convince all NRA beneficiaries of 70,000 households on this technology is our short term challenge and how to replicate this technology nationwide for retrofitting about 3.5 million housing stock in the country is our long term challenge."

Deputy Chief of GMALI-CLPIU, Mr. Narayan Shrestha urged the retrofit beneficiaries to sign the agreement with government to receive the amount worth Rs. 1 lakh and start retrofitting the houses. "Living in an earthquake prone country and area and leaving the vulnerable houses standing may result to tragic condition, hence I request the retrofit beneficiaries to start retrofit as soon as possible. If you like to transform in reconstruction beneficiaries, also I urge to sign the agreement for further process," Mr. Shrestha said.

Likewise, addressing the ceremony Executive Director of NSET, Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha highlighted in the role of local authorities in scaling up the retrofit implementation. "NSET just develops and demonstrates the model regarding different technologies like retrofit, the sole responsibility goes in local community and local authorities to replicate and make them widely implemented," Mr. Shrestha said. He believed the trained masons developed through retrofit training would contribute in retrofitting other houses in the locality.

During the occasion, Mr. Ranjan Dhungel, Program Manager of Baliyo Ghar delivered the report of retrofit implementation through the program in Dhading primarily focused in Nalang.

376 households have been enlisted as retrofit beneficiaries in ward 1 and 2 of Sidhalekh Rural Municipality, Dhading. NSET-Baliyo Ghar Program with the support from USAID has accomplished 6 model retrofit houses and in one more house retrofit training is undergoing in Sidhalekh-2, Nalang.


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