45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 2015 - Page 51

Country and hazard overview Fostering demand for safer schools Country: Nepal Organisation: National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal Hazards: Earthquakes Summary: Nepal has a history of destructive earthquakes but until recently had done little to protect its infrastructure and housing. Then, the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET) began a host of projects to raise national awareness through safer construction practices. Through community mobilisation, NSET started a public dialogue about the imminent threat of earthquakes and offered tools to the community to help them be more resilient. NSET encourages the community to connect with outside funding sources so costs are shared. In all projects, they work to identify which school projects are most likely to scale-up the program in their communities and protect more Nepali children and adults. CHINA Mobilising communities NSET were pioneers of community-based safe school construction in Nepal. In 1993, the organisation consisted of just a few people and little more than an idea. They wanted to build awareness about earthquakes and other natural hazards from the children up, and at the same time use a school construction project to bring about earthquakeresistant construction practices. Mobilising communities to build safer schools can require lengthy engagement and trust building. A mix of low risk-awareness, limited government capacity and limited resources drove NSET to focus on finding sites for a few successful projects. Their aim was to ensure the government, as a key stakeholder, repeatedly saw community-based safe school construction projects as an effective means to protect children, provide education, teach masons new skills and, by extension, protect Nepali people and vital infrastructure investments. SECTION III: MOBILISATION CASE STUDY Nepal is beset with high seismic activity. They have weathered four major earthquakes in the last 100 years, which have claimed more than 11,000 lives. In 1934, the Nepal-Bihar earthquake claimed 8,519 lives and caused massive devastation to Nepali infrastructure and housing. Extending all the way to 1250 CE, the seismic record suggests earthquakes of that size occur approximately every 75 years. If historical trends continue, another earthquake is imminent. Smaller and more frequent earthquakes serve as constant reminders of the looming threat. School selection criteria High community commitment Potential for publicity Dhangarhi Pokhara NEPAL Replicability Kathmandu Birganj Biratnagar INDIA Update: On April 25, 2015, Nepal experienced an M7.8 earthquake 77 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu. Because the earthquake struck at noon on a Saturday, few were inside the thousands of classrooms that collapsed. Tragically, some teachers were attending teacher training sessions and were killed. At the time of printing, a full education sector damage assessment had not been completed. Early assessments indicated over 10,000 classrooms were fully damaged and upwards of 90 percent of schools damaged in some districts. Enrolment Feasible socio-economic condition Availability of construction materials Potential for training Selecting a school was done with care. For example, in Nawalparasi District, all of the district’s 239 schools were surveyed to see which schools needed new classrooms. The number of available local masons was assessed, along with the socio-economic condition of all communities and the available construction materials. Through an analysis of these quantitative factors, NSET made a shortlist of around 20 schools. The most resource-intensive and time-consuming part of strategically selecting a site was determining which communities would most benefit from a project. It was decided the benefit would be higher in communities that did not even know they were particularly vulnerable or that their vulnerabilities were preventable. Benefit would also be high in communities where local contractors or masons failed 42