A deadly earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck on April 25th, 2015, causing extensive damage to villages, with 8,964 fatalities and 21,952 people badly injured. 3.5 million Nepalese were instantly homeless.
Despite the initial influx of global aid, eight years later, many Nepalese still require assistance as much of the reconstruction remains undone.
Earthquakes don’t kill people. Buildings do!
Since the earthquake, the Rotary Club of Hall has assisted with several school construction projects in partnership with the Reach for Nepal Foundation, such as this one at Shree Shivashakti school in 2017.
Despite the additional cost of constructing an earthquake resistant building, the Rotary Club of Hall funded the construction of an earthquake resistant school at Shree Barahi School at Tanahun which has just been completed.
This Australian award winning design is not only much safer than the conventional build, but they are also more sustainable and much stronger, lasting for generations to come.
The design includes solid foundations of concrete and reinforced steel meeting international building standards.
Concrete footings act as a single raft during an earthquake, providing a solid base to support the building structure. Lightweight steel frames with bracing offer protection during a bad shake.
Pre-manufactured steel frames come in like a Meccano set, making construction easy and efficient.
Construction of the school in the mountains added some logistical challenges.
Base stone walls add weight to the overall stability. There is no masonry above the window sill height to eliminate the likelihood of injury or death from falling masonry.
Safety, natural light, wall and roof insulation are all important in the design of these classrooms. Blending classrooms into the natural environment with locally sourced materials also helps reduce transportation costs.
This is the second project where the REACH for Nepal Foundation has used the earthquake resistant classroom design for a school construction project.
“Being situated in a highly remote area, our school faced significant challenges in ensuring a safe learning environment for our students.
We now have a classroom that not only withstands seismic activity but also provides a sense of security for our students and staff. This initiative is truly commendable.”
Fatteh Bahadur Gurung, the chairman of Shree Barahi School Baraha Dada, Tanahun
The Rotary Club of Hall has also supported health projects in Nepal, such as the Roads to Rehab project in 2019 and undertaken school construction projects in other places, such as a significant school construction project in Timor Lesté in 2022.