Disaster Resilient Communities in Nepal by 2050

NSET's Efforts Towards Build Back Better

It has been almost 6 months since the Himalayan earthquake struck on September 18 2011 causing huge damages on the eastern part of Nepal but no substantial effort has been made so far to address the impact of the earthquake.

There are however several activities going on at different pockets and localities. Immediate repair and construction works are being carried on extensively locally. But the worries are whether there have been needful supports provided to BUILD BACK BETTER!

Earthquakes are natural phenomena which cannot be stopped but there are ways in which the losses can be reduced. This NSET hopes to achieve by training technicians, masons and especially the owner-builders on earthquake safe construction methods.

NSET after conducting field based intensive damage assessment works in affected areas during October 2011 have now been engaged to mobilize resources at the optimum possible extent to impart Knowledge and Skills to local people on earthquake safe construction. Under Nepal Earthquake Risk Management Program Stage II (NERMP2) supported by USAID/OFDA, NSET is putting its efforts towards building back better of the earthquake affected region.

The first phase (December-January 2012) of the program covered three pilot districts (Phidim, Paanchthar; Phungling, Taplejung and Ilam) and in the second phase (March 2012) the programs are being carried out in Khandbari- Sankhuwasabha and Myanglung-Terhathum districts of the eastern Nepal.

District Level Orientation-Workshops

NSET team conducted District level orientation-workshop in the three pilot districts (Phidim, Paanchthar; Phungling, Taplejung and Ilam) of the eastern Nepal (the most affected districts) to propagate the message of earthquake safety along with the lesson learned from 18th September Himalayan earthquake.

A brief description about the program activities to be implemented at district level and discussion on earthquake risk of Nepal was also included in the orientation-Workshop.

Different stakeholders including Chief District Officers, Local Development Officers, District chiefs of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force, Government representatives, District Office and technical representatives of NGOs, media representatives and district representatives of political parties participated in the workshop.

Capacity Building

In this period repair and reconstruction works are being carried out extensively in the earthquake affected areas but still most of the constructions are driven on ownership effort with the help of local masons. The huge devastation by the recent quake has made them think on the mode of construction they have been following up till now. People now want their houses to be earthquake resistant and they themselves prepared for any disaster.

NSET’s approach of imparting the knowledge and skill to the local people on earthquake safe construction through mason training programs and earthquake safety orientations in schools and communities were found to be highly effective and appreciable.

5-day Intensive Training Program for Masons:

In the first phase a total of four intensive 5-day Mason training program on earthquake resistant construction and retrofitting was conducted in the three most earthquake affected districts namely;

• Chyangthapu, Panchthar district
• Sinam, Taplejung District
• Ranke Bhanjyang, Panchthar-Ilam boundary
• Maipokhari, Ilam district

A total 143 masons from 26 VDC’s of four districts were trained on earthquake resistant construction through this program. The program covered importance of safer construction, weakness in current construction practice and measures to overcome the weakness. The practical exercise on construction of different elements of buildings with earthquake resistant construction techniques and retrofitting of buildings using low cost, easily available and community adopted building materials made the participants more clear on the construction methodology.

Orientation to Local Community/Students and Teachers on Earthquake preparedness

The local communities, the students and teachers of the three districts were also oriented on earthquake preparedness and safer construction. There was active participation from wide range of the community including the youths, volunteers, professionals, political party representatives and general public from the locality.

More than 220 students and teachers from three different schools Bishnu H. Secondary school, Chyangthapu, Sinam Higher Secondary school, Sinam and Maipokhari Secondary School, Sulubung were oriented on earthquake safety.

Out come

S.No. Activity No. of Events Accomplished Total Nos. of Participants
M F Total
1 District Level Workshops
3 92 14 106
2 5 days intensive Training to Local Masons on Earthquake Resistant Construction and retrofitting
4 143 0 143
3 Orientation to Students and teachers on Earthquake Safety 3 126 98 224
4 Awareness and Orientation to Community on earthquake preparedness 2 50 8 58
  Total 12   120 531

Visible Impacts

Some changes and improvements in the behavior of the masons towards earthquake safety of the buildings was observed.

Taplejung Mason’s Group for Earthquake Resistant Building Construction was established with a mission to construct earthquake resistant building only in the community

Small scale Non structural mitigation works was carried out by the government officials at their offices, by local hotel owners of Maipokhari, Chilingdin Sinam and Chyangthapu, Police officers of Chilingdin and some other local stakeholders

There were remarkable number of participants from government and civil society organizations who can further contribute towards earthquake risk reduction through influencing other institutions and at the same time incorporate the components of earthquake safety in the development plans and programs of the districts.

There was good participation from the media in the district workshop. Local newspapers and FM radios covered news on Earthquake Safety Day, earthquake preparedness and mason training and contributed to making people aware on earthquake risk.

Mr. Bir Bahadur Gurung
Chamaita-2, Ilam
Participant of the Mason training program

“The training is very helpful. We have only heard of earthquake but didn’t know what to do during earthquake. Now I am clear on that. After receiving first day class, I asked my wife to be prepared with earthquake GO Bag. I also told my friends and my colleagues to be prepared with go bag and non structural mitigation.”


Media Room

NSET Publications


NSET On Social Media

Home | About NSET | Projects/Programs | Good Practices | Hazards in Nepal | Prepare Yourself | Contact Us | RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube |