Earthquake Safe Communities in Nepal

Aspects of scaling up seismic retrofitting of residential buildings discussed, experiences of pilot retrofit works shared

National Workshop on “Scaling up Seismic Retrofitting of Residential Buildings through Local Government Regulatory System” held in Kathmandu on Nov 24, 2021. The workshop focused to share experiences and discuss ways of scaling up efforts of seismic retrofitting of residential buildings based on pilot works implemented by NSET under USAID’s Tayar Nepal Project in Ghorahi Sub-Metropolitan City (GSMC) and Tulsipur Sub-Metropolitan City (TSMC).

As a core part of the program, a panel discussion was organized that intensively discussed on the ways to scaling up the seismic retrofitting of the residential buildings in Nepal and how academia, local and central governments and private sectors could contribute to the process.

The panelists were Mr. Narulal Chaudhary Mayor of GSMC, Mr. Ghanashyam Pandey, Mayor of TSMC, Ms. Nani Maiya Oli, Social Mobilizer of TSMC, Mr. Ramdhan Shrestha, Senior Engineer from GSMC, Mr. Anand Nepal, Manager of Sarbottam Cement Limited, Mr. Dhrubaraj Thapa, President of Cement Manufacturing Association of Nepal, Mr. Rajesh Thapa, President of SCAFE/SONA, Prof. Dr. Gokarna Motra from Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus and the house-owners Ms. Pabitra Biswakarma and Mr. Bharat Kumar Sharma from GSMC and TSMC who shared their experiences and views on aspects of retrofitting of residential houses. The panel was moderated by Dr. Ramesh Guragain, Deputy Executive Director of NSET. On the occasion, Mr. Tirtha Raj Joshi, Deputy Chief of Party of USAID’s Tayar Nepal Project had welcomed the participants on behalf of organizers.

There was the participation from various stakeholders including house owners of retrofitted buildings, elected representatives from GSMC and TSMC, representatives from Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), Department of Urban Development and Building Constriction (DUDBC), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), development partners, academia, INGOs, NGOs, professional organizations, private sectors and media.

The program was concluded by brief concluding remarks.

Mr. Dilip Bhandari, Deputy Director General of DUDBC, appreciated USAID for the continuous support and contribution on implementation of National Building Code in Nepal. He shared that Model Retrofitting works are important to promote awareness on general people about retrofit in the municipalities and it could provide a launching pad to accelerate the process. Ms. Tammie Harris, COP, USAID’s Tayar Nepal project remarked, "Tayar Nepal has ambitious goal over the five years’ project life to build stronger system at the national level and to build safer settlements at the municipality level." According to her, the scaling up efforts of retrofitting of residential buildings highlighted two pieces of program exemplary way. Mr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Executive Director of NSET extended his sincere thanks to all the participants and panelists for participation. Highlighting the various output of the project “Scaling up Seismic Retrofitting of Residential Buildings through Local Government Regulatory System”, Mr. Shrestha shared that approximately 1200 buildings have been retrofitted during the period of past 24 years in Nepal in which NSET and various other organizations worked jointly.

Mr. Bishnu Dutta Gautam, Under Secretary at MoFAGA, expressed his happiness over participation of various sectors in the program and appreciated TSMC and GSMC for their efforts of implementing national building code and initiating the retrofitting of residential buildings in the municipalities. He also thanked NSET and USAID’s Tayar Nepal for taking up the retrofitting technology at people's level.

Mr. Madhav Prasad Dhakal from NDRRMA opined that as municipalities are responsible for administering the building permit system, they have also a huge role to play for retrofitting as well. Sharing NDRRMA’s compensation policy to disaster-hit people, with provision of providing Rs. 50,000 to those buildings which are damaged by disaster events, he also urged municipalities to utilize it for retrofitting purpose. He also emphasized to introduce some incentive provisions aiming to promote it by motivating the house owners.

A total 70 persons from various agencies and sectors participated the workshop.

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