Mira Kumal of Ward no. 5 of Bidur Municipality in Nuwakot has shown a great deal of perseverance in reconstructing her house. It took her a long time to sum up the funds and finally her house was rebuilt through the assistance provided under the Government of India funded Socio-Technical & Consultation (STFC) project, having a safe and earthquake-resilient house is one of the main priorities of the project.
The communities such as Mira’s are supported by the STFC by increasing awareness of safe reconstruction, training local masons on safe building techniques and linking homeowners with the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
To achieve safe reconstruction, the project uses On-the-Job Training (OJT) to instill appropriate construction techniques to skilled and semi-skilled masons from the community. The importance of the approach is rooted in promoting community awareness and increasing the pool of available skilled labour.
Such was the case for Mira, a Government of India supported beneficiary homeowner, whose home was rebuilt safely thanks to an OJT. Mira was trained during the reconstruction of her home, becoming one of the 240 unskilled and semi-skilled masons trained by the STFC.
Months ago, Mira received the first reconstruction tranche from the NRA. Like many others, she had to use a portion of the grant for medical treatment, leaving her with less funds to put towards the construction of her house. When Mira applied for the second tranche, her DPC did not meet the construction standards, and she could not access the tranche. Because of her precarious economic situation, she was forced to stop the reconstruction of her house. Unable to receive the second tranche, she had lost hope of having her own earthquake-resilient house.
Despite the difficulties, Mira was committed to rebuild her house. During a monitoring visit from STFC community messenger Kalpana, Mira spoke of her difficulties and her desire to reconstruct her house. Kalpana, who is also from Pipaltar, took Mira under her wing. The STFC’s social mobilizer guided Mira to our team of engineers in the TSC and together they worked on a solution for Mira’s home. Mira’s home had construction issues and the Government of India program could help correct those issues and allow Mira to be eligible for her second tranche. Holding Correction Based OJTs in her house solved part of Mira’s problems.
Without any funds to buy construction materials, Mira was still not out of the woods. She again went to Kalpana for assistance. The very next day, Kalpana took her to a local hardware store and put herself as a guarantor for Mira. With Kalpana’s intervention, the store owner agreed to provide Mira the materials on credit. Mira could then go on reconstructing her house according to the standards and receive the second instalment. She received her second tranche and was able to reimburse the store owner and acquire materials to build the rest of the house.
With the support of the STFC and Mira’s contribution, a correction OJT was conducted at Mira’s house and it was made compliant.
More about the Project
The Government of India funded Socio-Technical Facilitation & Consultation (STFC) support for housing reconstruction in Nuwakot district, implemented by the United Nation Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in partnership with Build Change, reaches 23,088 homeowners from two Municipalities (Bidur and Belkotgadi) and eight Rural Municipalities (Kakani, Meghang, Tarakeswor, Suryagadi, Dupcheswar, Kispang, Likhu and Tadi), identified by the Government of Nepal in Nuwakot. The Project provides awareness on earthquake-resilient construction principles, competency-based and correction-based on-the-job training, on-site technical guidance on the government norms, design options, construction technology, support on receiving tranches, provide free drawings and Bill of Quantities and provide necessary support in obtaining a building permit.