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Nepal: Model VillageNepal Earthquake

Model Village Project: Towards rebuilding self-sustaining and integrated Model Village in Arupokhari, Gorkha

June 26, 2015
Barsha Dharel, Program Coordinator, Nepal

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On April 25th, when the earthquake of magnitude 7.8 hit Nepal, Arupokhari- a remote village in Northern Gorkha, was irrevocably damaged.  Out of 1350 households in the village, 1226 were completely destroyed. Gorkha district, about 76 km northwest of Kathmandu, was the epicenter of this mega Earthquake where over 91% of houses, along with over 95% of schools and 90% of health facilities were severely damaged.   
 
While the government has announced that the two earlier phases- rescue and relief are almost over, the country still faces a mammoth task of the final and most important phase of reconstruction. To date, there are over 8,790 casualties and 22,300 injuries. It is estimated that the lives of eight million people, almost one-third of the population of Nepal, have been impacted by these earthquakes. (National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal, June 2015)


Photo: Nepalese children at a local school

In line with RMF’s concepts and the government of Nepal’s vision for a comprehensive and eventually sustainable Model Village, RMF, in close partnership and collaboration with Sarswati Foundation will be working towards the development of a Model Village in Arupokhari. Sarswati Foundation has been working in Arupokhari, Gorkha since 2009 as a non-profit. This was co-founded by Subhash Ghimire, a native from that village and editor-in-chief of the Republica, Nepal’s leading English daily that publishes with the New York Times in Kathmandu.
 
Following the devastating earthquake, the non-profit has been actively engaged in relief and reconstruction works in the area, which includes providing food and temporary shelter relief to the affected people. So far, the foundation has delivered 7.5 tons (100 sacks of 30kg rice, 50 sacks of 50kg lentils, 500 sacks of 0.5 L of oil, 500 packets of 1kg salt, 495 blankets, 350 tents) to the community and aims to rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers, utilizing local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability, improved healthcare access, education and livelihood programs, based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people.
 
Similarly, the village also holds a huge potential as a thriving Manaslu trekking route, along with a 600-megawatt hydro project being planned around in the area. In addition, the community is also actively engaged in production of local agricultural products and livestock. With a thought-out detailed plan, the opportunities of the village could be tapped in to create a replicable, integrated and sustainable Model Village.
 
RMF will be supporting in the rebuilding of Sarswati Peace School (more than 200 students, mostly from economically and culturally marginalized backgrounds) and Darbar Higher Secondary School (public school with more than 400 students), both of which were badly damaged during the earthquake. The current plan is to demolish the existing damaged structure and construct earthquake resistant buildings.

In researching potential options, we have found an organization installing pre-fab structures as an option for schools.  These pre-fab structures are fast to construct, waterproof, fire-proof, sound proof and earthquake resistant. As the Sarswati Peace School is near a fault line these seem to be the best option given the resources.

Examples of another prefab school location:






Along with the support to the reconstruction of the schools, the model village project also seeks to help build at least 100 temporary shelters and 700 permanent houses to the identified most vulnerable households in the community and one earthquake resistant local health center.  Health services, education, and the economy will be supported for the long-term as the people of Arupokhari build a stronger future in collaboration with RMF and Sarswati.
 
 
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Background

In line with RMF’s concepts and the government of Nepal’s vision for a comprehensive and eventually sustainable Model Village, RMF, in close partnership and collaboration with Sarswati Foundation will be working towards the development of a Model Village in Arupokhari. Sarswati Foundation has been working in Arupokhari, Gorkha since 2009 as a non-profit. This was co-founded by Subhash Ghimire, a native from that village and editor-in-chief of the Republica, Nepal’s leading English daily that publishes with the New York Times in Kathmandu.

Following the devastating earthquake, the non-profit has been actively engaged in relief and reconstruction works in the area, which includes providing food and temporary shelter relief to the affected people. So far, the foundation has delivered 7.5 tons (100 sacks of 30 kg rice, 50 sacks of 50 kg lentils, 500 sacks of 0.5 L of oil, 500 packets of 1 kg salt, 495 blankets, 350 tents) to the community, and aims to rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers, utilizing local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability, improved healthcare access, education and livelihood programs, based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people.

Similarly, the village also holds a huge potential as a thriving Manaslu trekking route, along with a 600-megawatt hydro project being planned around in the area. In addition, the community is also actively engaged in production of local agricultural products and livestock. With a thought-out detailed plan, the opportunities of the village could be tapped in to create a replicable, integrated and sustainable Model Village.

RMF supports the rebuilding of Sarswati Peace School (more than 200 students, mostly from economically and culturally marginalized backgrounds) and Darbar Higher Secondary School (public school with more than 400 students), both of which were badly damaged during the earthquake. The current plan is to demolish the existing damaged structure and construct earthquake resistant buildings.

Along with the support to the reconstruction of the schools, the model village project also seeks to help build at least 100 temporary shelters and 700 permanent houses to the identified most vulnerable households in the community and one earthquake resistant local health center. Health services, education, and the economy will be supported for the long-term as the people of Arupokhari build a stronger future in collaboration with RMF and Sarswati.


Objectives
  • Rebuild the village as a replicable model, which will include earthquake-safe structures designed by architects and engineers
  • Use local natural and human resources to ensure ownership and sustainability
  • Improve healthcare access and education based on the needs of the communities and with the leadership of the local people
  More Reports on:
Model Village Nepal Earthquake
        Country Page: Nepal
        Initiative Page: Model Village
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