Earthquake Resistant Mountain Schools in Nepal, 2007-2012

Project Data

Start of construction: August 2007
End of construction: May 2012
Total construction costs: 144.325 Euro
People’s Participation: 37.609 Euro (26%)
Contribution Impulsis: 16.967 Euro (12%)
Contribution CWS Hong Kong: 53.448 Euro (37%)
Contribution SSF: 36.301 Euro (25%)

The Project

Due to continuous seismic action combined with inferior construction quality, many school buildings are severly cracked, walls are tilting or have already collapsed. We contribute to improve this situation in the mountain villages of Kaski District in Nepal.

Before we start any project, we identify the real need in the villages that seek our assistance, and we make sure that the villagers fully cooperate with their own project. They are made responsible for the execution process, for the purchase of materials and for hiring the local laborers.

We also expect a certain percentage of People’s Participation, usually around 20 to 30% of the total budget. This contribution is mainly the provision of local materials such as wood and stones, and they can contribute in donating time and labor.

This way, the most important responsibilities remain where they should be; at the root level of the local communities. At the same time the village has ownership of the project, and all villagers have the responsibility towards each other to complete the project and to stay within the budget.

Our partner SEED Foundation is responsible for all the communication and administrative matters, between SEED, Smart Shelter Foundation and the village committees.

Smart Shelter Foundation is responsible for the remaining funding, and all the technical aspects of the project, such as designing earthquake resistant buildings, making drawings and preparing estimates. Materials are very expensive in the mountains, so we try to recycle as many stones and wooden elements as possible, to reduce the costs.

By adding simple provisions we can considerably strengthen the whole structure. To learn more about these basics, you can take a look here and here.

Before and during the whole construction period, we give extensive training to the local masons and carpenters. Here we focus on how to properly handle the materials and how to apply them, in order to achieve the highest quality possible. More information regarding this can be found here.

After finishing the school, we paint all earthquake resistant measures on the outside of the walls. With red paint we mark the position of all horizontal bands, and with black paint we show how and where the vertical steel bars are incorporated. Then in the Nepali language, we write down and explain exactly what is inside the walls. This way the building becomes a full scale advertisement and promotion of earthquake resistant construction principles. The knowledge stays in the villages, and they can practice it on their houses and other future structures.

Between 2007 and 2012 we have built an impressive number of 56 new earthquake resistant classrooms and repaired another 26 rooms, in 14 different remote mountain villages.

Our Partners for these projects

All projects were executed together with our local partner SEED Foundation, and with full participation of the local villages.

Chairman Damodar Bhakta Thapa of SEED Foundation truly understands the earthquake resistant construction principles and he is able to continue the work independently. To us, that is the most important achievement of our presence in Nepal!

  • The schools in Bhirchowk, Thumki, Phalangkot en Syastri are co-financed by our Dutch partner Impulsis.
  • The schools in Deurali, Mahjibesi, Makaikhola, Gahate, Mugri en Mugribesi are fully financed by CWS Hong Kong.
  • The school in Kalikastan is executed and financed by World Vision from Pokhara, for whom we have arranged the technical support.
  • The schools in Dargauntar and Khalte are fully financed by Smart Shelter Foundation.

All mentioned figures include the costs of construction training, which we always give before we start constructing the schools.

Our Sponsors for these projects

Jawi Sportschool, Charles Looijestijn Financieel Adviseur, SdB Recruitment, Lions Club (all in Alphen aan den Rijn), W. Verwer, W. van Triet, S. Benus, Heembouw, Tine en Piet Bak, Jan en Imelda Wegman, Inbo Rijswijk and Inbo Drachten, Liselot Langer and many, many more!