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Sustainable Community Reconstruction: Local produced Building Materials

  • Published on September 5, 2022

The 2015 devastating earthquakes left hundreds of thousands homeless in rural Sindhupalchok, Nepal with little to no options for affordable, sustainable home reconstruction. This project developed localized production of sustainable materials, Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks, to be used for community and individual rebuilding. Local-led, social initiatives have the capacity to respond, recover and rebuild after times of crisis or disaster. It was important to develop a solution for rebuilding which provided affordable, earthquake safe building materials, while also addressing the financial crisis of families losing their homes. Locally produced, environmentally sustainable Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks reduced the overall financial and environmental cost of rebuilding and invested the majority of money spent for rebuilding in the local economy. The aim is to support the development of social enterprises or socially driven community projects and sustainably rebuild post earthquake. This project led early rebuilding of community structures and individual homes in rural Sindhupalchok.

The project supported the reconstruction of more than 100 household projects and is still supporting communities with low cost, environmentally sustainable, earthquake resistant building materials. Additionally the project reconstructed two primary schools, 10 community centers, and two children's homes. The investment of more than $100,000 into the community, supporting the regeneration of local economy, environment and livelihoods of local people. The development of a community-led social enterprise and training center for the production of sustainable construction materials. Outputs include:

(1) Effective sustainable reconstruction requires education and awareness building provided by collaborations between the government and community-based organizations. (2) Community-wide trainings and meetings to develop understanding of new technology is required especially when using a new technology to respond to a traumatic event such as an earthquake. (3) Establishment of cooperative run social enterprise to deliver the produced building materials so there is established trust within the community. (4) Government and organizations lead in rebuilding with new technology.

This case study is directly related to the OPN SBC programme.

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