Four years have passed since the catastrophic earthquakes struck Nepal in which 8,790 people lost their lives and 22,300 were injured. 498,852 houses were fully and 256,697 houses partially damaged by the earthquake. In the district of Sindhuli, an estimated 4,200 skilled masons were required for a safe reconstruction, available were only 150. Hence, Swisscontact through the Skills for Safe Reconstruction Project (SSRP) filled the skills gap by training new masons and upgrading the skills of existing masons.
The objective of the Skills for Safe Reconstruction Project (SSRP) was to contribute to the future risk reduction of the most affected population by the April and May 2015 earthquakes in selected areas in Sindhuli district.
SSRP operated in Sindhuli district in the South East of Nepal with a hilly topography and limited road infrastructure to the rural settlements. Within the Sindhuli district the project operated in Kamalamai Municipality, Golanjor Rural Municipality, Marin Rural Municipality and Sunkoshi Rural Municipality.
Awareness raising: SSRP aimed at sensitizing house owners about safe reconstruction practices by increasing their knowledge on building safe houses. This should ensure that they would employ skilled workforce for repairing or building their houses. Initiatives ranged from door to door household visits and street dramas in villages to a national TV programme. The objective of the campaign was to enhance people’s skills in earthquake-safe construction to ensure that they are better prepared for any potential future natural catastrophes.
Skills training to construction workers: The project trained new construction workers. During the 50-day on-the-job trainings, trainees learned hands-on all the steps required for earthquake-safe construction. Around half of the participants were women. The trainee groups built two earthquake resilient houses were constructed for vulnerable families (10 trainees per house). In total, 108 houses were built during on-the-job trainings. After the training, most of them found employment for reconstruction work in Sindhuli district.
For professional masons and carpenters, SSRP organized 9- and 7-days skills upgrading trainings during which the trainees acquired skills to build earthquake-resilient houses.
The house of Sundari Devi Varma Shah was rebuilt by a group of trainees during their 50 days on-the-job training.
Arjun Shrestha is a graduate of the 50-days-training by SSRP.
The project ended on 31 July 2019.
SSRP was financed by Swiss Solidarity and implemented by Swisscontact.
Through training as a construction worker, Purna Bahadur Sarki managed to find a way out of debt.