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Nepal: "I'm certain that whatever I construct from now on will be sturdy and stable"

11 August 2015

In Nuwakot District, Save the Children and its partners are building Temporary Learning Centres (TLC) to ensure that children can continue learning as schools are rebuilt. Over three days in July and August, 23 members of staff involved in this initiative took part in RedR’s training, where they learnt how to make sure that these essential structures are earthquake-resistant. 

Badri Dhungana at RedR Safer TLC Training

Badri Dhungana (left), a resident of Taruka VDC (Village Development Committee) 8, Nuwakot District, is a farmer by profession. He occasionally works as a carpenter and at times as a mason in his village. He has already constructed two TLCs in his VDC for Save the Children. 

"Two months before RedR’s training, I received the orders for constructing a TLC," he remembers. "I was given a TLC drawing, including the floor plan and elevation. I was clueless about the details of construction. We were using only bamboo and tarpaulin for construction. Prior to this, I had used only timber for construction - I had never worked with bamboo. Trial and error was my strategy as far as building these TLCs was concerned. I was not confident about using bamboo, and by default I was tying bamboo poles just the way I would tie timber. I cannot thank the trainers enough for having taught me the way to make lap joints. I am certain that from now on, whatever I construct will be sturdy and stable." 

Francisco Monteiro, a Member of RedR Australia, demonstrates how to make lap jointsAbhishek Dangal works as a sub-engineer at the Community Development Centre, Nepal. CDC is one of Save the Children’s partners which are engaged in building safer TLCs.

"In the past two months I have been involved in the construction of nearly 30 TLCs in Nuwakot District," he explains. "Prior to the training given by RedR, I had received only 50 % of the orientation I needed to be able to do my job well. At times I would find it difficult to guide the carpenters working under me, as I was myself not fully aware of the specifications involved in the construction of TLCs." 

So how has the training helped? "The techniques of ABCDE (Anchorage, Bracing, Continuity, Ductility and Enhancement) are the best lessons I have learnt during the training. They will stay with me forever - just like the alphabet! People in the villages here are quite sceptical about the construction of TLCs. They do not think it is important to have TLCs as they feel other infrastructural needs should be given priority. The 'Adult learning' session of the training has made me realise that these people can be convinced otherwise. It will now be easier to communicate with them and positively influence them. I am grateful to RedR and the wonderful trainers for the training."

Please note that the above texts have been translated from Nepali. Our thanks to RedR India.

- Find out more about what we're doing in Nepal
- Upcoming courses (search Region: Nepal)
- Safe Shelter Construction training, in photos

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