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Projects

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. 38 districts were affected, 16 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:

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

Short-term training to masons:

  • 400 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 4,800 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.

Results

Achievements (November 2016 - February 2017)

  • 58 houses built as part of the training sessions.
  • 4,800 house owners sensitized, and 1,000 local construction workers trained.
  • Community-led, participatory approach to ensure inclusive reconstruction successfully implemented.
  • Advocacy for better construction by engaging mass media conducted.
  • National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) supported for greater outreach.1,144 newly constructed houses and 1,462 ones currently under construction are directly attribuable to the project-activities.