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Reviving Barpak, an Opportunity or a Challenge

 PragyanBhattarai After the catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Nepal with the epicenter Barpark, there have been tremendous loses of wealth and life. It has become very difficult task to bring up the situation under the normal condition. With enormous expectation of the public toward the government and existing political deeds has gradually decreased the attention toward the reconstruction phase. There might be some of the approach from the private and individual basis but there are no major plans and strategies that have been forwarded till date from the government. There are no major works that has been paced up in this crucial period and even the reconstruction committee is dissolved which has left the negative impression to the victims. There are no major works that has proceeded for the construction and planning deeds which not only have kept the victims under dilemma but also they are really timid with these deeds. Barpark itself is a good instance for this, as being the epicenter of this catastrophic earthquake, the destruction in the village of Gorkha called “BARPARK” is ample and to restore the peace and bring back the situation to normal condition is really difficult. All most all the infrastructure is destroyed by the earthquake and the rebuilding of this place had to be in rapid pace which has not been commenced till date. The hidden image of Barpark came into picture after earthquake in world arena. Much of the media attention was dragged at the time and many experts visited the places but still the place is waiting for the experts who act more than acting through word....

Learning from others

Keshab Sharma Often the question is whether villages should be rebuilt in their original locations or relocated to less disaster-prone areas Earthquakes earlier this year caused massive loss of life and properties in Nepal. It left nearly a million families homeless, and destroyed much of social infrastructure: schools, historical monuments, health posts, water supply systems, and communication and transport networks. Most affected were rural residents. Around 4,000 big and small landslides followed within 200 kilometer east-west stretch of the Gorkha epicenter. The government has set up National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to implement reconstruction and rehabilitation programs, with support from various donor agencies. It has also identified settlements that need to be relocated. Often, the main question before a post-disaster community is whether villages should be rebuilt in their original locations or relocated to less disaster-prone areas. Sometime relocation becomes mandatory because disaster displaces people and renders their houses uninhabitable. Therefore relocation is considered the best option to reduce future vulnerability of disaster victims. But relocation itself is fraught with a number of challenges. Human settlements have historically evolved in particular locations for economic, political, social and cultural reasons. Relocating settlements solely on the basis of their exposure to natural hazards generally meets with resistance from local communities. This article will explore the impact of post-disaster relocation and its consequences on rural communities. It will also make recommendations to make Nepal’s reconstruction meaningful. Relocation of a settlement, whether necessitated by natural disasters or military conflicts, has always been difficult. An unofficial survey showed that 90 percent villagers rejected Indian government’s relocation plans after the Gujarat earthquakes of 2001. The plan...

Retrofitting existing structure to resist Earthquake

PragyanBhattarai Nepal has progressed significantly in spreading the awareness about the earthquake through different programs, advertisement, conferences etc to prepare at the time of emergency. We have already celebrated the Earthquake day with all type of awareness spreading techniques. Many organizations, collages and government have drag their interest in making people aware about this stuff.  The workout that many organization in Nepal are proceeding with in order to combat the enormous potential disaster for future earthquake hazards is also appreciable. Tremendous work in order to remind the people about the catastrophic earthquake of 1934, and the subsequent earthquake occurred in various parts and lesson to be learned from those by preparing in advance for such disasters are being carried on. Now the question arises “Are these activities enough to combat the catastrophic earthquake?”. Simple awareness programs are not enough for Nepal in this circumstance; we need to have strong plans and policies for the existing buildings as well as upcoming buildings to resist the upcoming earthquake. It is expected that the buildings or any construction should be as per the code; every countries do have their own building code as per the geographical condition of a country. It is also mandatory to upgrade the code as per the condition to keep abreast with the current research and development in the structural design and analysis, construction industries with new construction materials, and the state-of-the-art technological advancement nationally and internationally. When we concentrated to the code of Nepal then there are no remarkable changes since the building code of 1994. The feasibility study of the code is not being embraced effectively...

Building better

We should improve rehabilitation services and build accessible infrastructures – Phillip Sheppard Apr 24, 2016- Today marks the one year anniversary of the Gorkha Earthquake that resulted in large numbers of fatalities and injuries and extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have resulted in more than 22,300 injuries and 8,790 deaths. Additionally, more than 400 healthcare facilities have been destroyed all over the country, while 700 have been partially damaged. The high number of injuries implies that there are now many people living with some form of disability. Soon after the earthquakes, Nepal’s rehabilitation professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and prosthetists and orthoptists worked tirelessly to reduce the long-term effects of disability and prevent complications associated with secondary conditions such as pressure sores. Most of the injuries resulted from falling objects and debris or from individuals jumping and running from buildings. The Nepal Physiotherapy Association’s (NEPTA) report mentions that approximately 70 percent of the injuries were fractures. There were also around 200 spinal cord injuries, 40 amputations and a small percentage of other conditions such as traumatic brain injuries. In the last year, many organisations have worked collaboratively to provide rehabilitation services to patients in acute-care settings. The NEPTA’s report also reveals how it immediately mobilised its resources, connected physiotherapists from around the country and worked to promote rehabilitation within the disaster response. Moreover, Handicap International also responded within hours distributing mobility aids and deploying physiotherapist, occupational therapists and prosthetics and orthotics specialists to all major hospitals in Kathmandu. Dhulikhel hospital and the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) along with other facilities and rehabilitation centres...

Earthquake Resistant Design and Safety

Er.PragyanBhattarai Take a look at recent seismic activity, and we might get the impression that Earth, perhaps a bit too over caffeinated, has a bad case of the shakes. Recent earthquake of 6 magnitude in Nepal and many others in the past has indicated the need of awareness that we need to incorporate for a new construction, retrofitting of existing structure and general safety. Kathmandu has been enlisted in the most active seismic zones because of the unplanned settlement, improper construction of new buildings, annual population growth etc. Revising our history, we had a tragic loss of life and assets in 20th century and this situation can reoccur at any instant. This continuous earthquake hits seem to suggest an ominous future with a shaking, quivering crust and earthquake. Over the centuries, many researches have been progressed with a conclusion that Earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings do. Earthquake does cause buildings, bridges and other structures to experience sudden lateral acceleration but this solely is not responsible for collapse. Many experts now believe we can get rid of this fearsome temblor through earthquake – resistant building which can prevent total collapse and preserve life. Today, the science of building earthquake-resistant structures has advanced tremendously and many developed countries have been practicing this approach. Discussing the issue of Nepal and its implementation phase there is hardly any progress. To make this earthquake resistance building possible in Nepal the techniques are a bit different but the basic principles are the same. There are tremendous techniques from base isolation and damping process to resistant design techniques. In a developing country, expensive technology is quite...

Masons, carpenters hone skills

– AnupOjha, http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/printedition/news/2016-06-05/masons-carpenters-hone-skills.html Jun 5, 2016- It’s midday. A clattering sound of the hammer echoes in a sattal (traditional space for resting in the Newari community) in Panauti. Fifty-two-year-old Lakpa Sherpa, a traditional carpenter from Tempathan Village Development Committee of Sindupalchowk, along with his eighteen friends, is busy honing his newly acquired skills to build earthquake-resilient structures. Following the devastating earthquake in April last year, there is a demand of 50,000 masons and carpenters trained to build quake-safe structures. The government has been training such masons and workers in almost every district. Lakpa and his eighteen friends (eight carpenters and other 10 masons), are all traditional carpenters and masons from Tempathan VDC, one of the quake-ravaged district, on Nepal’s border with China. They have undergone 45 days of training from Nepal Vocational Academy (NVA), Panauti, to construct quake-resistant houses with the help of mud, stone and wood. They will be leaving for their village of Tempathan sometime this week. Tempathan is a six-day walk from Balefi, the last point up to where there are motorable roads. These traditional builders were brought in for training by conservationist RabindraPuri, who champions a movement to restore Newari architecture and Sonam Sherpa, chairman of TempathanNepemasal Society. “I had seen the struggle of our villagers and there was a urgent need of making quake-resistant buildings,” said Sonam. “I was aware of RabindraPuri’s work,  so I contacted him for some assistance.” According to Sonam, 140 houses have been completely destroyed by last year’s quake in Tempathan. The earthquake had overall damaged 600,000 houses in the affected districts. The government has announced to provide up to Rs200,000 as housing...