45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 92

Country and hazard overview The Indian subcontinent presses into the Eurasian tectonic plate in the north, causing India – along with other nations in the region – to have experienced many small and a few devastating earthquakes during the last century. After witnessing the pattern of earthquakes and other natural hazards that resulted in a series of abrupt but predictable disasters, SEEDS began working with communities, technical universities and government authorities in 1994. They helped communities retrofit unsafe schools and adopted strategies for reducing losses from future crises, using schools as a catalyst for community-wide change. CASE STUDY Training masons to build seismic-resistant schools Country: India Organisation: India’s national and state governments, UNDP, World Bank State-wide school construction program Hazards: Earthquakes Keywords: cascading training, rural and remote oversight, community oversight, large-scale In 2004, the Uttar Pradesh State Government was planning a massive school construction project in response to the widening education gap. At this time, the UNDP Disaster Risk Management Program (DRMP) as well as the Education for All (EFA) initiative were both underway at a national level. Some UNDP and MoE officials saw the school construction project as a chance for disaster risk reduction and decided to teach the MoE and state government about safer schools. Summary: In 2006, the Uttar Pradesh State Government in India sanctioned a hazard-resistant design for a massive school construction project that aimed to build thousands of schools at the same time. At the time, there was government capacity but local capacity was low, creating a good opportunity to institutionalise a communitybased approach. There were too few engineers to be present across thousands of construction sites and many of the schools were remote. This emphasised the need for community involvement. Influenced in part by devastation in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake – in which 15,000 schools collapsed – and two historic earthquakes in Uttar Pradesh, the state government decided to change their existing school design, which lacked earthquake safety measures. Under the DRMP the Indian Government created the position of National Seismic Adviser who was responsible for updating the existing design. Uttar Pradesh contained multiple levels of seismicity, but given the large scale of the project, the government decided to create a design suitable for the highest earthquake probability in the state. Because thousands of schools were being built simultaneously, construction oversight was challenging. But the state government saw it as an opportunity to raise the capacity of thousands of communities through cascading training. By 2007, the state government, in partnership with UNDP and with a loan from the World Bank, constructed almost 7,000 seismically safe schools and 82,000 additional classrooms in Uttar Pradesh. The National Seismic Adviser changed simple features in the school design to increase its seismic resistance. These included: • Moving doors 60cms from vertical joints. IRAN • Adding rebar to tie foundations and slabs together. CHINA AFG. AN IST SECTION III: CONSTRUCTION K PA New Delhi ! ! Arabian Sea • Placing three horizontal ‘earthquake’ ring beams that circumscribe the walls (at the foundation, below the window, and above the window). ! Kandla INDIA Calcutta ! Imphal MYAN. • Increasing the proportion of cement to sand and stone blast in the foundation. Mumbai ! Bay of Bengal Bangalore ! ! After determining the changes would add an additional 8 percent to construction costs, the MoE entered a year of negotiations with the World Bank to increase their longstanding loan that had supplemented national and state funding for EFA. With funds in hand, the easy part was over. Now the state needed to train masons to build safer schools. Chennai Trivandrum ! CHINA Dhangarhi Pokhara 83 Kathmandu