How we can organize ourselves for progress in Nepal

Subtitle:50 out of 100 peoples

“…but that day when I returned back to home from kathmandu ground still shaking I saw my house leaning backward neither welcoming me nor requesting me to enter just standing silently like an oldged sick person that can do nothing but just waiting helplessly to collapse day by day.Baisak 29 the day, the strike, the quake and somewhere I lost my little world…” extracted from facebook post of one of the victims of earthquake 2072 from sindhupalchock, barhabise-9.

As our study about his house we found out that the main cause of such distruction was poor building construction and lack of earthquake ressitant techniques.The story was almost same for numbers of others too.

Me and my collegue tight our belts and begin to search for how to make and spread the ideas regarding earthquake resistant constructions.Our first visit was Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) near Babar Mahal, receiving good construction ideas we gathered pamplets, posters and booklets from there. Later we visited National Society for Earthquake Technology- Nepal (NSET) of Baisepati and there also collected hard copies of informations. It was our resource collection phase.

With taking various presentation classes in Nepal Engineers’ Association (NEA) and with various group discussion, some of the earthquake resistant techniques that we have learned are listed below:

-For damaged buildings-R4

1.Repair,2.Restore, 3.Retrofitting and 4.Reconstruction.

-For reconstruction

1.Engineered Design 2.Construction Supervision 3.Structural design and detailing (size of beam and column, slab thickness, numbers of bars and connection details etc.) .

In a next phase we are going to have a small but intelectual meeting to discuss our plan with freinds like Architects and Engineers to build a team. No matter how many of them are going to involve, no matter how much money is going to expense and no matter how much guts we need but we are going to aware the peoples of Nepal.

In final phase, we are going to choose Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur Durbar Square). We will choose a particular place where we can hang pamplets and posters. We manage one small desk with big title ‘Awareness Program’. We will welcome every individual passing-by and will provide information regarding earthquake and more about earthquake resistant building construction techniques. If we will be able to gather a mass than we will address for a whole or atleast we can deliver the informative papers.

We know what we are doing and for this we are not seeking any penny. You can call us self-motivated and self-guided team. We know in this bussiest time all may not be beneficail by our words but we believe and will be satisfied if 5 out of 100 people got aware and implement our knowledge and informations, we will feel successful.

If successful then our program will be elongated to Sindhupalchwok, Dolakha and Gorkha District. If success stories continues than it will be time for long tour/ mission from Mechi to Mahakali.

We know there are not any earthquake proof building in the world and not it is pratically applicable. But we will teach peoplesthe teachniques to build the earthquake resistant construction.We will be foccused in tehnical details.In this present situation to rebuild Nepal is to build houses that will not give fearful scenario to the peoples rather make them belive to stay calm and let pass the so called disaster earthquake.

This is just our small self motivated steps with only motto of awareness to the peoples of nepal such that at least earthquake will not destroy the dream,the life,the time-span,the money,the moments that one creates with own’s house.

Hope we can meet in one of our ‘awareness programme’ and heartly all are welcome.Thankyou.


This seems very important - but I would say there is a thing you should change from the very start: go to the villages first! In KTM people have internet, engineers and literature, therefore access to information is much better than what people in remote areas with weak 2G get. I know it means a bit more effort and time investment, and probably money, but if you manage to raise even very modest fund, or tag along military/police/relief cars to travel from one place to another, get fed by the locals in exchange for the knowledge you bring - this would be something priceless. I think/hope that in KTM most of the people won’t risk building crappy houses again. It is also quite likely the government will now take care of making sure all constructions follow the rules they’re supposed to follow. What will rather happen is that people in the villages will just rebuild their houses as they were, because they don’t know otherwise, and there won’t be enough know-how coming on time to support reconstruction. If you only bring them the information about a few simple and cheap improvements that will make their houses last - I believe you might be doing something of a great value.

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my 2 cent

Okay, I am far removed from the action but here are my 2 cent:

  1. Start where it is easy and somewhat effective. That would be KTM in my opinion. But do this in a mindful way that will let you ramp up and branch out where it is more difficult but has even more impact - clearly the rural areas are even more in need of this.

  2. Thus, as soon as you’ve got the first little bit of momentum in your group, and a tiny bit of oversight where things are going - split of a “commando group” that does a very improvised prototype of a rural workshop version in a conveniently situated village. You have to physically go there to work out and document all the little issues that can become show stoppers in such a more challenging environment. Don’t send your “best builders” but send circumspect people that can listen and take pictures. Go through a bunch of what-if scenarios (while you are there). Prepare to fail, try to achieve 80% - be fair to the village community! This should be a very short gig.

  3. Come back to the main effort and keep the lessons in mind while you ramp up the main effort.

  4. Slowly start to establish a connection and a schedule for reaching out to villages/training some people on site in KTM.

If you search for “holcim” on the platform you’ll get to some other contacts and material that may be relevant for you. If you need I can try to give you more support in specific things, especially if you want to reach out to people.

@hector may also have some good advice. He was very helpful on a somewhat related issue here:

How to organize progress in construction?

Well obviously Nepal needs improvements in construction – means you chose a good area where to organize progress. And I think Natalia is right, the villages need it even more than the city. The “local contact persons” from villages who were active in post-earthquake volunteer efforts might even want to come to Kathmandu for trainings in earthquake-proof construction techniques … might that work?

So you are telling us by example that progress can be organized by raising awareness and spreading knowledge about existing solutions, right? Means, there’s no need for a big social movement as long as awareness and knowledge are enough for everyone to “do the right thing” next time. I like that idea, because it is efficient. It can be even more efficient though by incorporating some PR / marketing techniques into your outreach efforts. A physical awareness raising campaign in an earthquake affected settlement might make you talk to a lot of people who can’t or won’t follow your recommendations later.

So, could there be more time efficient ways of awareness raising that also fit for the communication culture in Nepal?