Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Residential building retrofitted as model work under USAID’s Tayar Nepal grant handed over to house-owner

Model work of retrofitting a residential building has been completed and handed over to house-owner in Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City. The house was retrofitted as a part of model work under USAID’s Tayar Nepal grant: “Scaling Up Seismic Retrofitting of Residential Buildings through the Local Government Regulatory System” being implemented by NSET with the guidance and supervision from Ghorahi Sub Metropolitan City (GSMC) and Tulsipur Sub-Metropolitan City (TSMC) in Dang. Two more residential houses in the area are now undergoing seismic retrofitting.

Mayor Mr. Narural Chaudhary from Ghorahi City inaugurated the retrofitted house at the retrofit technology handover ceremony held at Mageri, Ward No. 13 of GSMC on Nov1, 2021. Mayor Chaudhary handed over the retrofitted house to Mr. Tika Bahadur Biswakarma and Pabitra Sherpali, the owner of the house.

Addressing the ceremony, Mayor Chaudhary GSMC thanked all the stakeholders for making the successful retrofitting of the residential house. Underscoring the need of building safer buildings for people to be safe during future earthquakes, Mr. Chaudhary shared that the GSMC is putting a lot of efforts in promoting retrofitting of the residential buildings after joining hands with NSET and other organizations as there are largely adobe buildings which are vulnerable to earthquake.

Chief Guest of the event Mr. Jitendra Man Nepali, Chief of District Coordination Committee of Dang, stressed on the need of maximizing the ongoing efforts regarding retrofitting of the existing residential buildings in Dang as it is economically feasible for local people. Mr. Nepali urged GSMC to provide incentives and other supports to the houseowners in order to motivate them towards retrofitting their houses.

House-owner Ms. Pabitra Sherpali expressed happiness to have stronger house after retrofitting that is expected to withstand future tremors. Ms. Sherpali thankd for the encouragement and support received during the task.

Mr. Tirtha Raj Joshi, Deputy Chief of Party for USAID’s Tayar Nepal Project, congratulated the GSMC and NSET for successful accomplishment of retrofitting of one of the buildings under USAID’s Tayar Nepal grant. He further shared that GSMC’s efforts have been inspirational, and this has been a great learning for adjoining municipalities. Mr. Mohan Paudel, Chief Administrative Officer of TSMC shared that Dang has long tradition of constructing adobe buildings. This is an environment and health friendly. It needed to be preserved and retrofitting of such building could make these buildings resilient to earthquake.

Ms. Sabitri Biswakarma, Deputy Chairperson of Babai Rural Municipality highlighted the need of safer construction practice in Rural Municipality. Thanking NSET and GSMC for providing her an opportunity to observe shake table demonstration and to know about retrofitting technology, she expressed commitment to work on implementation of NBC in Babai Rural Municipality in coordination with various agencies and stakeholders in Dang.

Dr. Ramesh Guragain, Deputy Executive Director of NSET, shared past experiences regarding introduction and expansion of retrofitting technology in Nepal. Dr. Guragain also pointed out the measures to promote the technology. “Firstly, there is, however, very low level of awareness on general people about it and it needed to be increased. Secondly, we need to train human resources such as engineers and masons. Thirdly, municipalities should provide some incentives to those who want to retrofit their houses so that it encourages people to go for retrofitting,” he remarked.

Mr. Yubaraj Paudel, Head of Infrastructure Development Division of GSMC also shared his experience of strengthening safer construction practices in the area.

The program was also participated by members of Municipal Disaster Management Committee of GSMC, engineers from GSMC, engineers from TSMC , Social mobilizers, elected ward chairpersons and members, representatives from banks and financial organizations, District Chapter of FNCCI, construction entrepreneurs, consultant engineers, local media persons, masons, students from engineering colleges, house owners, staff from NSET, Tayar Nepal among others. Shake Table demonstration was also organized following the handover ceremony. Mr. Bijay Krishna Upadhyay, Innovation Expert from NSET, conducted a Shake Table demonstration and provided the details of its process, objectives and method. He also responded the queries raised by the participants during the demonstration.

The program was chaired by Mayor Naru Lal Chaudhary from Ghorahi City (GSMC). A total of 286 persons including masons, engineers, house owners attended the event.

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