Samir BK – Sub Engineer, National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET)
“We have come here to make the houses earthquake resilient. The aim of NSET- Nepal is to make at least 70% of the houses earthquake resilient in this VDC. In this training, we are training 32 local masons in coordination with the VDC here from ward number 1 to ward number 7. In the seven days, we are trying to make them more capable in terms of building houses.
We teach them how to make the pillar system house, how to lay the foundation, how to build the plinth beam and tie beam – how to join the beam and the pillar which should be really strong. The most vulnerable part of the house is the stairs – we teach the masons how to make that strong. If the house is not pillar-based, we teach them how to make the brick house strong without the use of pillars as well. Not only do we talk about the houses, we also discuss about the quality of the land on which the house is to be built. We talk about the dangers of building houses in the land with liquefaction, landslide-prone areas, banks of the river and near the big trees, etc.
In my opinion, this training plays a big role. We have already endured earthquakes in the past. We shouldn’t just build a house, we should think about how to make it stronger and if the new houses are also built in the old way (without the new earthquake-resilient techniques), the houses will be damaged if another earthquake strikes and the country will go back a few years again (in terms of development).
In Nepal, people have to wait a life time to build one house, the economic status of Nepal is such that people can’t build 3 or 4 houses. After so much difficulty, if the house gets damaged because of one earthquake, building another one is challenging. Therefore, building one which is a strong earthquake-resilient house is very important.”