Govt plans to retrofit houses in one yearThe National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) aims to complete retrofitting within one year all houses damaged by the earthquake in 2015.
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) aims to complete retrofitting within one year all houses damaged by the earthquake in 2015.
The NRA has identified and approved 24,991 houses for retrofitting financial assistance.
Stakeholders involved in reconstructing and rehabilitating earthquake victims, including the NRA, the Ministry of Urban Development and others decided to accelerate retrofitting process along with rebuilding private houses at a meeting held at the NRA office on Monday.
“We discussed the factors responsible for the sluggish pace of retrofitting. It seems people have less information regarding the retrofitting procedures, so we have decided to do wide promotional activities. This will encourage people to take up retrofitting,” said NRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yubaraj Bhusal, adding they aim to retrofit damaged houses within one year.
According to Bhusal, last January the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Department for International Development (DFID) has agreed to carry on with retrofitting activities in earthquake-affected districts for the next two years. These two agencies have also appointed Build Change, an INGO, to conduct required activities in the field.
The NRA had approved the retrofitting design submitted by the Build Change for stone masonry buildings in mud mortar on June 4, 2017.
As per the agreement, the Build Change will train 2,000 engineers and 12,000 masons in retrofitting over the next two years.
“Retrofitting could not start as we had limited engineers. Even available ones were involved in building houses. Retrofitting is an expensive technology and not taught in our country, which means we do not have required human resources for retrofitting,” said Bhusal, explaining the delay in starting retrofitting.
Retrofitting is an innovative and cost-effective method of strengthening existing houses partially damaged by earthquake. The technology strengthens their structural elements and stabilises the current structure, making them earthquake resistant.
The NRA has said it would finalise the agreement with the UNOPS within three days. After signing the agreement, technicians’ training will start in Palpa, Myagdi, Kaski, Baglung and other districts.
The retrofitting training for technician will begin from mid-April, said Bhusal.
Besides, the NRA has also asked beneficiaries, registered earlier in government’s full grants given for building houses razed to the ground, but could be habitable only with retrofitting, to transfer them to the category of retrofitting beneficiaries.