Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

‘Baliyo Ghar’ – the Housing Reconstruction Technical Assistance Program completes, Direct Socio-Technical support provided to rebuild 63700 houses

‘Baliyo Ghar’ – the Housing Reconstruction Technical Assistance Program has completed its operation. With an aim of supporting the Government of Nepal’s owner driven approach for the reconstruction of private houses damaged during the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, NSET implemented USAID’s ‘Baliyo Ghar’ program as a key part of the reconstruction portfolio of USAID/Nepal.

Program activities initially planned and revised in due course of time as needed are all accomplished. Targets set for various activities are all met. Goals and Objectives defined while during program design are all achieved.

Baliyo Ghar program contributed in the reconstruction campaign led by Nepal Government to promote earthquake safer housing reconstruction. The program provided blanket technical assistance to the earthquake affected people conducting awareness and training activities to build seismically safer homes. The five-year (October 2015 – September 2020) program, with an extension for 0ne more year till Sep 2021, was implemented in 3 districts out of 14 severely earthquake affected districts; Dolakha, Dhading and Nuwakot and also in one Municipality in Kathmandu.
The program had two-fold goals:

- In shorter-term, the program aimed at ensuring earthquake safer construction of all houses being reconstructed;
- For longer-term, the program aimed to establish a system of disaster-resilient construction to achieve the goal of disaster-resilient communities in Nepal.

With 6 components of socio-technical assistance; assisting in policy making, capacity building trainings, community orientations, mobile clinic, awareness raising, On-the Job Trainings, ‘Baliyo Ghar’ program supported earthquake affected population to ensure safer and better reconstruction. 

Through ‘Baliyo Ghar’ program, direct socio-technical support has been provided to rebuild 63700 safer houses in the program areas. Now those families are under the safe houses which are supposed to withstand future disasters.

Baliyo Ghar program provided orientation to 146559 individuals on various aspects of safer housing reconstruction and enhancing seismic safety.

Baliyo Ghar program provided training to 13474 masons in Dolakha, Nuwakot, Dhading and Kathmandu districts to enhance their knowledge and skills on earthquake resilient construction. Those trained masons are expected to contribute to building long term resilience of Nepali communities. Baliyo Ghar program under 50-day long on-the-job training (OJT) has produced 5430 new masons, of which 1396 

On the occasion, Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha, Executive Committee Member of NRA briefed on reconstruction experiences of Nepal and highlighted how satisfying it is to have larger portion of task accomplished within this period. Dr. Shrestha advised NSET to do Nepal’s reconstruction repository for future generations.

Dr. Hari Ram Parajuli, Executive Committee Member of NRA shared on NRA’s experience on how Nepal could resolve technical issues of reconstruction timely and efficiently. “Achieving 95% compliance rate in private housing is a big achievement to mark”, Dr. Parajuli remarked.

Mr. Dilip Bhandari, Deputy Director General, DUDBC shared his experience of working for housing reconstruction in district and at local level, and also how technical support was provided to earthquake affected families. 

Mr. Shyam Kishor Singh, Program Director of CLPIU (Building) stressed on need to consolidate the learnings of Nepal’s Housing Reconstruction for the use of future generation. 

Mr. David B. Chalmers, Office Director from Environment and Resilience Office of USAID Nepal expressed that USAID family feels delighted to have been able to walk together with thousands of earthquake affected families in their post-earthquake recovery efforts. 

Also, representatives from local government shared their experiences. Ms. Kamala Sharma, Deputy Chairperson of Siddhalek Rural Municipality Dhading appreciated the support provided to the communities through Baliyo Ghar to build back better and safer.

Mr. Birajman Shrestha, Ward Chair from Bhimeshwor-2 shared how reconstruction progressed resolving complex issues of city core area & heritage site of historical Dwalkha Bazar.

Mr. Haribansha Chaulagain, Ward Chair from Bhimeshor-4 shared his happiness that there are many female masons in the community now developed who can work for resilient construction.

Addressing the event, Ward Chairs Mr. Bijay Raj Itani from Nilkantha-10, Mr. Laxman from Siddhalek-7 and Mr. Rammani Pudasaini from Kageshowori-Manahara - 2 also shared their experiences of housing reconstruction in their areas and appreciated contribution from Baliyo Ghar program. Trained Masons Ms. are female. They contributed to fill the gaps of trained masons for the reconstruction. Baliyo Ghar program helped rebuild 910 houses of vulnerable families identified by the government. The program provided technical support through 50-day on-the-job training (OJT) activity including wages for 1 lead mason & 6 trainees and also certain amount for compensating material cost.

Baliyo Ghar program provided technical support for retrofit of house including wages for 1 lead mason & 6 trainees and also certain amount for compensating material cost. The program helped rebuild 74 houses producing 467 masons including 15 females. Also, Retrofit Guideline was developed in due course and the Government has adopted this document to deal with retrofit issues in earthquake affected areas.

These are just to note the few.

Designed to help homeowners and communities rebuild in a way that increases their resilience to future disasters, Baliyo Ghar remained closely aligned with the Government of Nepal (GON) owner-driven housing reconstruction campaign which empowers and supports homeowners, allowing them to build back safer. Baliyo Ghar established district- and local-level reconstruction technology centers, construction models, and demonstration homes. Project mobile units provide technical assistance to homeowners at the household and community level. At the national level, Baliyo Ghar supported the Government of Nepal in developing improved and standardized training curricula and procedures to be used during masons and engineers training and while orienting homeowners. 

Baliyo Ghar program provided trainings for Engineers, Government officials, Cosntruction actors, Polical leaders, Elected representatives, policy makers, social mobilisers and many sections of society with a focus to raise publish awareness, strgethen their capacity and understanding and encourage for actions on building community resilience.

Detail activities and accomplishments will be shared later in Program Completion / Accomplishment Report.

National Workshop on Closing of Baliyo Ghar program held

Upon the completion of program activities, “National Workshop on Closing of Baliyo Ghar Program” was held on Sep 24, 2021 in Kathmandu. The main purpose had been to share and discuss major learning and experiences of reconstruction efforts in past 6 years in Nepal. 

Addressing the closing event, CEO Mr. Sushil Gyewali from National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) recalled the journey of Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction. CEO Gyewali highly appreciated USAID and NSET for all the worth support provided contribution made through ‘Baliyo Ghar’ program. 

Bimala Basnet and Mr. Surya Prasad Subedi shared their journey of earthquake resistant construction practice.

Ms. Bhubneshowri Parajuli from HRRP mentioned on collective efforts of various agencies to support and accomplish housing reconstruction in Nepal and appreciated Baliyo Ghar’s stake. 

Journalist Sunil Koirala who is also Executive Producer for Baliyo Ghar Television program shared on media campaigns conducted for effective and safer housing reconstruction.

On the occasion, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) offered Letters of Appreciation to USAID and NSET. USAID and NSET also handed Letter of Acknowledgement to NRA for overall guidance and leadership in reconstruction efforts.

The closing program was chaired by NSET Executive Director Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha. Mr. Shrestha thanked all the participants and also expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and communities for their guidance and support to successfully accomplish Baliyo Ghar program activities. 

To start with, NSET’s Deputy Executive Director and Program Director for Baliyo Ghar had shared program accomplishments highlighting major achievements, impacts and key lessons. Baliyo Ghar Program Manager Mr. Ranjan Dhungel shared on program implementation and acknowledged the guidance and support received from various agencies and sections of people.


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