Two of the powerful earthquakes that rocked Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015 damaged 227 schools of Solukhumbu district; some were totally destroyed and some sustained partial damage and crack. The Principal Donors of HTN (Himalayan Trust New Zealand and Himalayan Trust UK) have set aside funds for reconstruction and repairing the school buildings in Solukhumbu by implementing project Rebuild Earthquake Damaged Solukhumbu Schools (REDSS) Project. Himalayan Trust Nepal in coordination with principal donors, government of Nepal, schools management committees formulated Two Year’s REDSS Project. The REDSS project plan included the rebuilding of 70 earthquake resistant classrooms in 15 schools, repairing 6 classrooms in 2 schools, construction of WASH in two schools and a compound wall at Khumjung school in the Solukhumbu district.
The overall objective of the project is to ‘build back better’ damaged school infrastructure within Solukhumbu district caused by the earthquakes on the 25th April and 12th May 2015. Specific objectives are:
- Rebuild identified earthquake-damaged schools so that an appropriate and safer learning environment is provided for children – “build back better”. The rebuilding process needs to manage in a way that ensures that:
- School teaching and learning activities continue during construction;
- Other HT Nepal donor-funded school support programmes are maintained.
- Develop construction skill levels within Solukhumbu District to promote the use of earthquake-resistant building techniques, and so that future livelihood opportunities are improved.
Overall Principles of REDSS
HT Nepal agree to follow the principles stated below, that underpin the Donors aspirations for the REDSS project
- Focus on the most needed areas
- Make sure that government funds are not substituted and do not overlap/duplicate other donors support.
- Be open to working with others to come up with the best design and implementing techniques (balancing cost, safety against future earthquakes and local sourcing).
- Get clear benchmarking on costs.
- Get economic of scale by working with other partners as possible.
- HT Nepal will be open for experience and knowledge sharing with other organizations.
- HT Nepal will develop high-quality operational management tools (e.g. based on Gorkha Welfare Trust Model but customized for this project).
- Seek community contribution during the construction period.
- Ensure work with trustworthy and well-functioning SMCs and Head Teachers and other stakeholders.
- As Donors, work together with HT Nepal as efficiently as possible with shared accounting and reporting so that the donors’ interests are aligned and restricted funding is reduced to the absolute minimum.
Project governance Mechanism – REDSS
Himalayan Trust Nepal successfully completed the Rebuilding of 70 earthquake resistant classrooms in 15 schools, repairing six classrooms in two schools, construction of WASH in two schools and a compound wall at Khumjung school in the Solukhumbu district within the allocated time frame. HTN on behalf of local communities, beneficiaries, and stakeholders express sincere gratitude to all donors, the government of Nepal and respective school management committees for their support and cooperation.