Locals Making Reconstruction a Medium for Employment

Since the end of the war in 2006 Nepal is going through a challenging peace-making and civil reconstruction process. A severe earthquake in 2015 threw the country back again. The Skills for Safe Reconstruction Project (SSRP), implemented by Swisscontact with Swiss Solidarity as project Partner is collaborating with this project to mitigate the risks and dangers from future earthquakes in Nepal.

Extract of a report on the project mason trainings and its successes, published in the Nepalese newspaper Karobar Daily.

Krinjala Pulami, Sindhuli, 30 Jan 2018

The mason trainings conducted to support reconstruction efforts after the earthquake has created job opportunities in the villages of Sindhuli. The trained masons have been making reconstruction a medium for employment.

Locals are self-employed at their own villages

Economic and social minorities have been trained as masons. The skills learned at the mason training has allowed the locals to be self-employed at their own villages. It has also helped them construct their own houses and created gainful income opportunities.

Pramila Majhi of Kamalamai Municipality, Majhi Village, constructed her house within the 50-day mason training program. Pramila says, “The training turned out to be a huge convenience for labor expenses and construction materials.”

After the training provided by Swisscontact’s Skills for Safe Reconstruction Project (SSRP), the masons along with Pramila have constructed a dozen earthquake resilience houses in the village. It was not positively perceived by the society for women to work as masons. She’s been earning well working as a mason. Pramila is thinking of continuing working as mason. She has been really busy since the government started distributing the cash grant and assigned a deadline for reconstruction works. 

Sumitra Achhami of Kamalamai Municipality, Chisapani Jhora, too, took the SSRP’s 9-day skills up-grading training. She even undertakes contracts, is playing a leading role in the reconstruction of houses, sheds, school building in the village. Her monthly income raised from Rs. 25,000 (230 CHF) before training to Rs. 35,000 (350,-CHF) a month. 

Increasing the locals’ employment and earnings

The project has been training earthquake affected masons with the aim of increasing the locals’ employment and earnings, by involving them further. Gita Limbu, District Coordinator Swisscontact, Sindhuli, explains that reconstruction has taken its pace due to mason trainings we provided, and it has also created job opportunities. Gita says, “It was really difficult for us to conduct the training at the beginning, but after providing them the skills, it has increased an awareness among the locals, as a result reconstruction has taken its pace.”

Government grant from NRA

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has not only appreciated the programmes, also facilitated the implementation of such programs. Houses constructed during training within the procedures and working area stipulated by the authority have received all three installments of the government grant. Coordinator Limbu states that the skills and employment obtained by the locals are the most important achievements. Regular monitoring is done by the project, National Reconstruction Authority - District Coordination Committee, and the local authorities to assure the quality of the training and houses built during the training.

The minority group aged 18-60 who have severely been affected by the earthquake have been receiving free trainings that complies with Nepal Building Code and National Reconstruction Authority’s criteria, using earthquake resistant technology.

58 houses were built after the training

58 houses have been constructed during the course of the training. During the 50-day training, a group of 20/20 trainees were required to build 2 earthquake resistant houses according to National Reconstruction Authority’s design.  

34,988 earthquake beneficiaries had been listed at the district.  2,721 houses have been constructed in the district till date.