Kathmandu, August 27
The four-day national symposium on Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation concluded here today with a confidence that Nepal’s experiences and learning has set an example in the world.
The new facts and knowledge gained through the research presented at the symposium by various experts have helped understand that Nepal’s experience would add a new dimension in the post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation in the world, said Sushil Gyewali, Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) which organized the symposium.
The research papers have shown that reconstruction of private housing has moved ahead effectively due to the active participation of the local communities, old structures were strengthened with retrofitting technology and the rebuilding of historic monuments have helped revive age-old construction techniques and transfer knowledge to the new generation, Gyewali further said in his concluding remarks.
CEO Gyewali said that though cement and steel structures technology have been discussed in the engineering field, it has now been proved that traditional construction materials like wood, stone and chuna surki too can help build strong structures. Saying that the new building code formulated by the NRA is a new beginning in the construction, Gyewali expressed satisfaction that the communities are now aware that the houses must be earthquake-resilient.
Secretary at the NRA Ramkrishna Sapkota said that the papers presented during the symposium would help document the best practices which will be useful to the next generation.
The NRA organized this virtual symposium to share its experiences, good practices and lessons learnt in the last five years of post-earthquake reconstruction as a preparation of the upcoming international conference scheduled for later this year.
Executive Member of the NRA and Coordinator of the International Conference Organizing Committee Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha said that the conclusions of the symposium would not only help the NRA improve its work in the coming days but would help the next generation gain necessary knowledge.
Deputy Spokesperson of the NRA and Member Secretary of the organizing committee Manohar Ghimire said that the research papers would be finalized with the suggestions at the symposium and will be presented at the international conference.
Altogether, 58 working papers were presented at the symposium with special focus on six thematic areas - private housing reconstruction; public and social infrastructure reconstruction; cultural heritage reconstruction; livelihood; rescue and relief; and good governance.
Twenty selected papers will be sent for publication in the international Elsevier journal in Japan. The NRA has already had an agreement to publish these papers.
The NRA would also publish and document all the papers, documents and institutional achievements of the past five years.
About 2,200 people representing various stakeholders, including development partners, I/NGOs, experts and individuals involved in the reconstruction participated in the symposium that was held to develop a common view on the successes, achievements and the lessons learnt during the five years of reconstruction. It was also broadcast live on facebook.
Earlier today, experts delved on various aspects of livelihood and economic development of the earthquake-affected people and discussed the increasing livelihood security of the affected households and their financial management. Those presenting working papers in the first session were Dr. Jeremy Spoon, Manindra Malla, Rajib Khanal and Dr. Jaysingh Sah.
This session was moderated by Dr. Nimananda Rijal while Professor Govinda Nepal and Dr. Nigel Fisher participated as panelists.
In today’s second session that focused on rescue and relief, Man Bahadur Khatri, in his working paper, shed light on the resilience and differential vulnerability of earthquake-displaced people of Tamang community in Tiru and Gogane villages of Rasuwa while Gaurab Kumar KC assessed the effectiveness of rescue and relief operations carried out after the 2015 earthquake.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) Anil Pokharel moderated this session with Dr. Nigel Fisher, Tuk Lal Adhikari and Vivek Rawal as panelists.
In the day’s final session, experts presented working papers on various issues related to governance and institutional arrangements. The paper presenters were Krishna Mohan, Ram Krishna Sharma, Vivek Rawal, Nirmal K Upreti and Dr. Jagat Basnet.
NRA Executive Member Dr. Chandra Bahadur Shrestha moderated this session with Dr. Hiramani Ghimire and Dr. Nigel Fisher as panelists.