The 4.25 Nepal earthquake in 2015 destroyed all homes, schools and killed people in Katunge Village where our NGO (Future Village) has worked since 2004. Although villagers can feed themselves by working extremely hard, the reality is the school collapsed, children can only have class in temporary classrooms, villagers’ temporary shelters made with sync also kept leaking. Our NGO thus determines to go from relief to development and sustainability. We launched the Chance Initiative aims to rebuild the village to be lively place and towards sustainable development, and where in one of projects was Build the Home, Build the Future. In this project, we work together with villagers to rebuild 100 houses. We build a community-based multiple-purposes centre (earthquake memorial and training centre). The centre allows the villagers gather and preserves visible records of their experience of 4.25 earthquake. It will serve as an educational hub for learning more about earthquake and disaster prevention training. All these help increasing villagers’ self-esteem, identity and belonging, as well as diverse their income means.
In our project, villagers are not "receivers", who do not have rights to talk and choose. Villagers are encouraged to lead the roles and rebuild their home and schools together with professionals and volunteers.
How we Build?
Participatory Design and Empowerment
- In 2015 Dec, a local reconstruction committee was formed. The committee is responsible for liaising the list of beneficial families based on the principles of fairness and democracy. It is also in charge of all construction work.
- 18 villagers represented different hamlets joined the housing rebuild training program. From making the foundation, electing the light steel frames to the completion of the house, all led by the villagers- based working group.
- Both men and women villagers can participate in the decision-making.
- Villagers are bare around 30-50% of rebuilt cost.
- We encourage and assist families to exchange their social capital for labour, in the spirit of the community
Suitable Professional Involvement to Improve the Traditional Architecture
- Besides our project partner IDEA Foundation Ltd, we invited a Taiwan architect Hsieh Ying Chun and his team to be our technical consultant. Mr. Hsieh and his team experienced in many rebuilt project after seismic such as Sichuan and Taiwan. We made reference to their anti-seismic design structure. The main structure is formed by a lightweight structural system with a underground foundation.
- The main steel frame components is per-fabricated. Bolt and nuts connections allow easy in-situ installation by the villagers. The villagers can handle the technique easily after the very first instruction together with the professions. Local materials such as stone, soil, brick and wood will be adopted for secondary structures including wall, floor and roof. Locals can use their own knowledge to contribute to the house construction and future maintenance.
We have collected over USD 250,000 that has provided emergency relief, have rebuilt 3 schools and funding 50 homes. Villagers have completed 7 houses and another 20 houses are in progress.
Our new earthquake resistant house mainly use/ reuse the traditional materials such as mud, wood, stones, however to make the roofs, CGI is one of the most cost-saving materials for the villagers. Suffering from the earthquake, many villagers find themselves extremely difficult to afford to buy the good quality CGI. Therefore we are looking for suppliers who are willing to support the good quality CGI to locals. If the locals can get the CGI support, it helps the rebuild process faster.
We will give a clear credit in publication and media. We will also provide the letter of appreciation for the suppliers.
To support the long-term commuity development in the post-disaster time, we also purpose to set up an earthquake memorial and training centre as well as promote homestay service to diverse villagers income sources. The centre will help strengthing the community solidarity, self-reliant spirit, identity and offer the cacpacity buiding opportunity.
We are thus looking for the professional input how to set up the earthquake memorial and training centre (interior design). Meanwhile, we will like to get more advice how to turn the local house to homestay room.
It will be the first ever project to move reconstruction work more sustainable way. It focuses on social and economic sustainable development. If the project succeeds, the profession inputs will be well recognized by other professions and general public.
Rebuild road is long. We are welcome volunteers who are passionate, energetic, and have strong will to work together with villagers to rebuild their houses. Any universities, corporates and organisations are interested in voluntary service, please contact us, we can discuss how to organise the voluntary service trips. Through the voluntary work, we can foster the concept of global citizenship.
So far we have collected over USD 250,000 that has provided emergency relief, have rebuilt 3 schools and funding 50 homes. We urgent seek funds to build the remaining 50 homes before the coming winter.
Our funding sources are mainly individual donors through both personal network and crowd funding campaigns. Meanwhile, we have collaborated with IDEA Foundation Ltd and several higher education instituations such as the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, Osaka University, Polytechnic University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University to have fundraising events and also volunteers service trips.
To support the rest of 50 houses in the village, we still need additional funidng USD 160,000 (each household we will subsidize USD 3,200).
Due to lack of commitment and funding, many disaster-related projects focus on short term humanitarian reliefs. We hope our endeavours can make important lessons in disaster relief, redevelopment and collaboration. We hope that our journey can be a prototype, and an encouragement for others working in this field. Safe earthquake house is not luxury for the rich, if professions can work together with local, we can help earthquake victims to rebuild safe and decent house so that they move on for their better life. A better housing reconstruction project not only offer a shelter but it can help the community to move on more sustaible development.
The project is innotive and ambitious, the success of the project will have significant impacts in the architect industry, international development and disaster management. We are confident that potential funding partners will receive lots of attention from both professions, media and the public.
- We are looking advice for running the capacity buiding training program- including how the local community can set up and manage their community musemun in future and also how to transfer their reconstruction experiences and skills to other viilagers.
- We are also looking for advice how to promote cultural and environmental sensitively homestay program in the village. Villagers can provide accomodation to visitors to earn additional income, more importantly, they can share their story- how they successully rebuild their houses, this experience can foster their self-confidence.
We will give a clear credit in publication and media. We will also provide the letter of appreciation for potential advisors.
We are looking for advice to marketise the project and more media coverage. The reason for that one of the main aims of the project is to increase the public awareness of the long-term post-disaster reconstruction support, this can foster the idea of global citizenship too.
Instead of short-term humanitarian assistance, the integration of social, economic and environmental dimension which emphasizing economic resilience, community revitalization, and ecological friendly are all key pillars to build the sustainable society. As one of the villagers who has successfully rebuilt his house said 'I never think I can rebuild my house. Now I did it, I am confident for the future.'
1) Social Dimension
Encourage the villagers as key stakeholder to carry out housing rebuild projectAll of the houses and schools are built by the community through a self-help process, which has included training by qualified engineers. This practice strengths the social capital and help preserving culture and heritage
2) Economic Dimension
Local bares 30 ~50% financial contribution, they will learn how to better manage their finance
Diverse income sources: mansion training program and homestay service
3) Environmental Dimension
Stones, wood and any other available materials from ruins of the houses after the earthquake were deliberately used for construction materials to reduce the construction and transport expense.Use of light-steel frames as major structure for new earthquake-resistant houses, this reduce the pressure on cutting more trees.
We strong believe that a good design does not just serve for its physical functions, what’s more is that it brings HOPE, the long-term capacity of the community. The wise architecture practice can bring the new development. We hope our project make important lessons in disaster relief and rehabilitation. We hope our work can be a prototype, and an encouragement for others working in this field. Indeed, our current project has shown positive sign for the post-disaster redevelopment, hundreds of other obliterated towns and villages may achieve a better and sustainable future out of poverty by referring our model and experiences.
This is definitely a project clearly demostrate how through the architecture can contribute to the sense of owenership and identity of the community.
Finally, we are a team of DREAMERS, we not only want to build a school, a few houses, but to rebuild the whole village, moreover, we want to build up villagers' confidence for their future. To achieve the desired goals, we need more funding and support from the professions to advise the long-term recovery plan.
Description: The project aims to work together with villagers to rebuild 100
Design: Light-steel frame/ Stone earthquake-resistant house design
Consultants: Mr. Hsieh Yin-Chun, Design for People Ltd, IDEA Foundation Ltd
Building status: proposal (Buildify submission)
Construction period: December 2015- December 2017
Needs: supply, design input, work force, funding support, advice, promotion
Location: Katunge Village, Dhading District , Nepal
Coordinates: 27°58'60'' N, 84°55'0'' E
Tags: community practice, disaster, earthquake, empowerment, education
Project ID: 644
Published: 21 September 2016
Last updated: 14 October 2016
(images have individual licenses)