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Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Schools in Nepal

  • Project Name: Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project (TA 8910: Developing Earthquake-Resilient Type Designs of Remote Schools Using Locally Available Materials)
  • Region/Country: South Asia/Nepal
  • Sector and Themes: Education
  • Year: 2015–2019
  • Project Leaders: Naresh Giri
Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Schools in Nepal
ADB worked with the National Reconstruction Authority to strengthen the government’s build—back—better and resilience programs, which entailed rehabilitation or reconstruction of school buildings, among others.

We knew we had to build the permanent structures quickly to retain the students as well as get back to the pre-earthquake enrollment numbers.

—Lokendra Dhakal, headmaster, Sanjiwani Secondary School, Nepal

Development challenge

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 resulted in colossal damage. More than 7,500 school buildings are still being reconstructed in accordance with the build—back—better (BBB) approach, which uses modern construction materials such as cement and steel. However, a significant part of the earthquake-affected areas is in highly rugged terrain and inaccessible by road. This triggered a need for evidence-based earthquake-resistance design of school buildings in remote areas of Nepal.

Solution

ADB worked with the National Reconstruction Authority to strengthen the government’s BBB and resilience programs, incorporating lessons from recent disasters in other Asian countries. This entailed rehabilitation or reconstruction of school buildings, improved road access, and training to ensure proper monitoring of new infrastructure, as well as future school building design, to ensure disaster resilience.

The school buildings were designed using locally available materials and skills, and minimal use of imported materials. ADB’s TA provided in-depth research to demonstrate load-bearing, masonry-type school buildings were developed using stone and mud, which have been approved by the Ministry of Urban Development.

Knowledge products and services delivered

A special purpose vehicle was set up by the government to manage the reconstruction programs with high efficiency through focused, streamlined, and flexible decision making in budgetary, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation processes. ADB helped build the capacities of executing and implementing agencies on procurement, contract management, quality control, and disbursement for education facilities. Partnerships with sector agencies were renewed and strengthened to facilitate timely implementation. Electronic, results-based monitoring and evaluation systems were set up at the central and district levels. Supervision guidelines were developed for technical personnel as well as local school management committees in monitoring of community-led school reconstruction. Pictorial guidelines and video documentary were produced to show how to build remote schools with local materials safely.

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After the project, thousands of children were back in schools, and vital government services and infrastructure were restored.

Impact and results

Thousands of children were back into schools, vital government services and infrastructure restored to earthquake-affected communities, and jobs and income for families created by repairing critical road networks. ADB will continue its school reconstruction work under the Disaster Resilience of Schools Project approved in September 2018 that will support reconstruction of 174 schools, upgrade school infrastructure, and strengthen institutions for disaster risk management planning. The Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project was jointly financed by ADB, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Government of Nepal.

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ADB will continue its school reconstruction work under the Disaster Resilience of Schools Project where school infrastructure will be upgraded, and institutions for disaster risk management planning will be strengthened.

Lessons for Replication

The school reconstruction project provided a significant, but unintended, added value for local communities. Many community members, particularly in rural areas, informally monitored contractors’ work and observed the different earthquake resilience techniques used in construction. This raised awareness of construction quality among local people, and community members took key lessons for their own dwellings. This helped build more resilient communities.

It’s beautiful, strong, and has modern facilities... The teachers regularly use multimedia projectors in the classrooms, and it has made learning more fun and interesting.

—Pratima Khadka, 14 years old, earthquake survivor, describing her newly reconstructed school.
Hashtags:
#Reconstruction #Earthquake #Education #Nepal #DisasterResponse #HumanCapital #CapacityBuilding
Find out more: https://www.adb.org/projects/49215-001/main
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