Nepal’s School Rebuilding Program in the News
The Nepal Rebuild Program was recently featured on ABC News Weekend Breakfast, recognising the important work undertaken by the Australian team over the last two years to provide new earthquake-resistant facilities for schools devastated in the 2015 earthquake.
As noted by the ABC, “…the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and subsequent tremors… claimed the lives of 9000 people, injured tens of thousands more and destroyed critical infrastructure including homes, schools and roads.”
Teaming with the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF), Hassell Architects, Davenport & Campbell and David Francis, to date we have successfully rebuilt 58 classrooms across 19 schools destroyed during the Nepal earthquakes. These new buildings represent a revolutionary advance for the region – replacing the previously poorly-built structures of just mud and stone, with no resilience to the seismic forces prevalent in the area.
TTW is proud to have been involved in the rebuilding program from its inception, contributing to the design and delivery of new classrooms for schools in one of Nepal’s poorest areas – the Lower Solukhumbu region south of Mt Everest – where some 200 schools were destroyed or damaged and more than 600 classrooms were lost.
Driven by the remote locality, TTW and Hassell designed a steel-frame structure with lightweight components that could be carried on porters’ backs, but one also strong enough to withstand future earthquakes and storms. These classrooms can be assembled in just two days, and consist of a low stone base that absorbs seismic forces, with walls and roofing of corrugated iron. Local workers have been trained in the construction, and the program has had the added benefit of providing new apprenticeships and education in basic electrical, plumbing, concrete, and steel works.
The culmination of two and a half years’ hard work was recently celebrated at the official opening of brand new classrooms for Garma Secondary School – an eagerly awaited new home for the 300 special needs students and their community.