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Skills for safe reconstruction in Nepal (SSRP)

Since the end of the war in 2006 Nepal is going through a challenging peace-making and civil reconstruction process. Limited economic growth is undermining development. A severel earthquake in 2015 threw the country back again. 31 districts were affected, 14 severely. Roughly half a million homes were destroyed and a further 300,000 suffered damages. The roads became impassable and entire regions were cut off from basic services.

The Project

Swisscontact is collaborating with this project in order to mitigate the risks and dangers from future earthquakes in Nepal. To this end we are focusing on those populations who were most severely affected by the earthquake in April/May 2015. In Sindhuli district, to the country’s east, Swisscontact is supporting former homeowners to rebuild and training young people in earthquake-resistant construction. We are also training construction workers in safe building practices. These activities are contributing to safe reconstruction and offer real professional opportunities to the many young people looking for employment in South Asia’s second-poorest country.

Construction training for new labourers:

  • 900 young people without professional training are being trained to become skilled construction workers.

Short-term training to masons:

  • 760 masons who are already working at construction sites and wish to learn earthquake-resistant construction techniques will have completed their training successfully.

→ Based on our experiences in our project in Nepal entitled “Young people are joining the labour market“, we estimate that 60-70% of trainees will find work after completing their course in Sindhuli. Our experience in the construction sector leads us to conclude that of the 10,000 informed homeowners, about 50% hire workers from our courses to rebuild their homes.

In addition to the training courses in earthquake-resistant construction, the project is advising homeowners in their reconstruction plans and training the masons who are necessary for that endeavour. Swisscontact is focusing on increasing the quality of construction work by improving technical skills and knowledge acquisition in earthquake-resistant construction. Here our focus is not on investing in physical infrastructure such as construction materials or machinery.

Homeowners are actively involved in the construction process. The project is informing them of the technical support and legal requirements of the government. Swisscontact is also facilitating access to skilled masons, together with whom homeowners are rebuilding their homes. The information our local staff and project partners provide allows them to monitor the construction process and make responsible decisions.

We coordinate all our activities with the government’s reconstruction plan and ensure they meet its legal restrictions (course curricula, construction permits, financial support contributions per homeowner, building standards, monitoring donations, etc.)  with a clear objective of avoiding parallel structures and working as efficiently as possible.


Achievements (November 2016 - December 2018)

  • Over 20,000 house owners directly or indirectly sensitized through socio-technical assistance such as door-to-door visits, cluster orientation, help-desks, interaction programs and on-site monitoring and construction support.  
  • Advocacy for better construction by engaging mass media conducted.
  • 1,660 local construction workers trained, of which 82% are employed and have an average monthly income increase of NPR 16,000 (CHF 150).  
  • Graduates from mason trainings have combined to build over 4,200 private houses in Sindhuli. 
  • 108 houses have been built for the most vulnerable households as part of On-the Job-trainings and 50 more private houses are under construction.  
  • Training of trainers (ToT) in earthquake resilient construction techniques delivered to 31 instructors.  
  • ToT on “timber frame structure design” delivered to 70 engineers deployed by National Reconstruction Authority.  
  • Developed and disbursed a range of IEC (Information, Education and Communication) materials including FAQs, information kit, practical construction guidelines, minimum standard for safe building construction handbook, etc.