IOM, Red-R train engineers in Nepal on safer reconstruction

News Hour:

Through June and July 2016, IOM Nepal and NGO Red-R India are conducting five training sessions in Sindhupalchowk, Nepal, for 113 Nepali engineers on: Quality Construction and Supervision for Build Back Safer.

Funded by the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the training aims to equip the engineers with strong supervisory skills to ensure that safer techniques are followed in the reconstruction process in earthquake-affected areas.

“This training is part of IOM’s commitment to support government efforts in the reconstruction phase and to respond to the request of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) in Sindhupalchowk to provide training for engineers who are assigned by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA),” said IOM Nepal Shelter Project Officer Keisuke Kamiya.

The earthquakes that rocked Nepal in April and May 2015 carried a high toll both in human life and in economic losses. They affected an estimated 8 million Nepalese with approximately 625,000 houses destroyed or severely damaged.

As the reconstruction effort began, the NRA deployed 1,347 engineers nationwide to supervise and provide guidance for affected communities when reconstructing their homes.

Dr. Poudyal, DUDBC Representative in Sindhupalchowk district, stressed the importance of increasing the trained labour force to be engaged in reconstruction activities. “This training was an important step for the DUDBC engineers, as their role remains vital to guide and teach local communities to build earthquake resilient buildings,” he said.

Head of NRA in Sindhupalchowk district Bhuwanashowr Lamichhane said: “As the saying goes, earthquakes don’t kill people, unsafe buildings do. IOM’s ‘Build Back Safer’ programme targets practitioners and the general public to enable people to reconstruct in a better, more resilient manner at all levels.”

IOM programmes in the post-emergency phase bridge the gap between relief and development by empowering communities and assisting in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of affected areas as one of the ways to prevent forced migration.

Immediately after the earthquakes, IOM established shelter centres in Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha and Dolakha districts, which serve as “one stop shops” providing information and training on how to build back better, as well as supporting the coordination of reconstruction activities.

IOM has worked very closely with the Shelter Cluster and with the Housing Recovery and Reconstruction Platform in order to develop user-friendly materials such as the 10 Key Messages for Build Back Safer, as well as to build capacities among earthquake-affected population to reconstruct safer houses incorporating disaster risk reduction measures.

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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