It had been a year since Nepal was rocked by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 25th
of April, 2015. The earthquake and its aftershocks left 9000 dead and rendered severe damages to almost a million houses. During the initial relief efforts ACHR was able to mobilize support through our network in Asia. The donation raised by ACHR and CAN for very quick support to Nepal earthquake totalled close to 50,000 USD. The fund raising did not only come from our ACHR network but from larger public contributions in Thailand and friends abroad. The money from this fund raising was amongst the very first assisting budget to the needy for emergency assistance for community needs, temporary housing arrangement, food, clothing, and planning on how to work together. ACHR’s coordination in Nepal helped link Misereor with Lumanti, which led to Misereor’s support for the rehabilitation project of Lumanti in the old town of Kathmandu. The rehabilitation efforts in Nepal overall have involved many organizations in the region and around the world, however the national process has been slow to start due to various reasons. In face of this, ACHR, CAN, together with Misereor and Lumanti decided to organize a workshop to search for an alternative solution that allows communities to pro-actively start their own rehabilitation as a group, as a collective body, while trying to restore some of the old characters of their communities pre-earthquake.
The workshop on “Rebuilding Settlements with Communities” was a weeklong program (25th
April 2016- 1st
May 2016) scheduled to begin at the mark of anniversary of the earthquake. It was supported by Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR) based in Bangkok and MISEREOR with technical support from its international Community Architect’s Network (CAN). The event brought together international experts-experienced in rebuilding post disaster in their respective countries together with a team of national volunteer architects and technical team of LUMANTI (totally 26 professionals) in exercising a participative community led settlement planning process. The workshop was based in two areas- Thecho, Bajrabarahi Municipality and Machhegaun, Chandragiri Municipality. Thecho and Machhegaun are two of the seventh century ancient settlements in Kathmandu valley with historical and cultural significance. Both areas suffered great damage of buildings during the earthquake of 2015.
Objectives of the workshop:
- Prepare a model of community driven process in rebuilding settlements
- To provide training and exposure to community representatives on community driven reconstruction process
- Share ideas with various organizations participating in rebuilding settlements with communitieser
After 7-day workshop, communities in these two areas formulated plans to quicken the reconstruction process and to coordinate with various stakeholders for financial support, materials sourcing as well as conservation plans for heritage areas.