Seven Schools in Seven Weeks Challenge

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INTRODUCTION

The aim is to provide much needed assistance to certain Village District Committee (VDC) wards and to work in coordination with the villagers. We will increase man power, materials and other requirements to enable them to get back on their feet and return to their self-sufficient way of life. The core objective is to rebuild schools, improve building safety and introduce sustainable resources, so that in a repeat event; damage will be less devastating and lack of resources less critical.

WHY SCHOOLS?

NCRR have chosen to work on the rebuilding of village schools as part of our building phase. School buildings within Nepalese villages are an integral part of their social network and community of a village. Not only are schools a place for education and a safe, supervised place for parents to leave their children, they also represent community centres. They are more important now than ever, as they are a safe place for children to go to while parents clear and rebuild.

In the VDC there are some 600 houses destroyed. Although we would like to assist, it would be an immeasurable task for us to rebuild every house and with local politics heavily involved it is nigh impossible to begin such a large project.

In the long term the villagers will receive financial assistance from the Nepal Government to rebuild their homes (Details of this and when it will be released are still unclear and it could take some time). The best thing we can do is secure local families in shelters, provide building advice and materials before the monsoon and then assist them in opening up channels to access the funds from the Government as well as maintain a stable food and medical aid supply until they can become self-sufficient again.

By choosing the rebuilding of schools as our core objective we;

  1. can successfully implement our objective
  2. will use earthquake safe building technology and provide education and training for local people about this. As a result, we hope to initiate the safe building of houses in the region. The equipment we use will be donated to the community for reuse.

To be successful in the above proposal we have created teams who are currently being educated with regard to safe building technique.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE
To rebuild six primary schools and one Secondary School in the Shikhar Besi VDC.

NCRR’s objectives are to re-build the school as earthquake resistant and sustainable (rainwater harvesting, solar power, biodegradable toilets). This will create a better, safer and long-term learning environment for the students.

We sent a team on the 25th May 2015 to assess the schools, document the needs and sizes required and assess damages to schools and properties so that we can extract an accurate budget.

AREA
Shikhra Besi VDC is located about 120km North of Kathmandu (by Road) at the base of Langtang Lugri Himalaya in Nuwakot Jila (District). It is one of the most heavily affected areas after the earthquake. The terrain is steep and rocky. 50% of the VDC has rough jeep road access. 80% of the wards are only accessed by walking.

The VDC is made up of 9 Wards; all of which NCRR has serviced over a one month period with food, medicines and tarpaulins.

WARD 1: 133 Households

WARD 2: 77 Households

WARD 3: 85 Households

WARD 4: 85 Households

WARD 5: 64 Households

WARD 6: 143 Households

WARD 7: 70 Households

WARD 8: 115 Households

WARD 9: 87 Households

One household consists on average of 5 people, 7 animals, 1 main building, 1 animal shelter, 1 room for harvest storage and 1 toilet.

7 of these wards have primary schools and 1 ward also has a secondary school. All of which have been destroyed by the earthquake.

We have committed to go ahead with the primary schools and have obtained the first step paperwork from the education ministry along with a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with our intention to rebuild seven schools. As part of the agreement with the Nepal Government we have to take over all of the schools in the area.

CHALLENGES AND HOW WE WILL OVERCOME THEM
There are too many to count! Building a school and raising funds to do this is usually a rather simple affair. However, in Nepal we are faced with many more challenges…

Government
The government of Nepal has imposed a 2-year ban on building schools until a proper land assessment has been made. Though this could be a problem, we think that public pressure will force the government to remove this ban. While the safety aspects are well founded, they cannot expect children to learn in tents for two years. Especially with the extreme weather conditions in that Nepal has. Wet monsoons, freezing winters and extremely hot summers! It’s yet another sign of the Nepal Governments lack of respect or understanding for the rural people of Nepal.

Local Village District Committee (VDC)
Working with the VDC (the local government) has been a challenge for us from the start. Here we need to make a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the local VDC defining:
A: NCRR’s intentions
B: VDC’s expectations
C: Ward expectations
Here we are striving to ensure that any of our donations ARE NOT subject to corruption, discriminations (inter-caste) and misuse.

Logistics
Getting aid to the villages will always be a challenge due to the geographic lay of the land and remoteness of the villages. Most equipment and materials need to be carried 1 to 4 hours as there. We need to source material locally and also employ local people as porters.

Natural Threats
There are threats of landslides in the area due to the landscape. The monsoon will tell us a lot and post monsoon, a proper assessment of the land-safety will be required. It is possible some of the existing school sights may need to be relocated.

BUILDING METHOD
To be decided.

PROJECT TIME FRAME
1st June to 1st September;

  • fundraising phase
  • government and education ministry liaisons
  • VDC and NCRR MoU to be made and signed
  • completion of all paperwork’s needed

1st September to 1st November;

  • leadwork
  • sourcing materials
  • assessing post monsoon damages and landslides
  • delivery of materials to the VDC
  • clearing of school areas for rebuilding
  • the formation of building teams
  • consultations with engineers

1st December

7 Week Building Phase

BUDGET (Provisional Estimated Budget) $104,350 USD
*Detailed Budget to be Provided by 1st August 2015

NCRR to provide 90% of the funding. Local people to provide 10% of the funding (this helps to create ownership of the project). 10% can be in the form of materials, labour and other help.

Transport $3,500 USD
Transport of materials and manpower
Estimated 10 trips @ $350 USD per trip which includes: jeep, heavy truck, motorbike and 4 tonnes of materials per trip

Labour $5,000 USD
Use of local labour (porters, carpenters, welders) $3,000 USD
Professional assessments, engineers and advisors on landslide and sanitation $2,000 USD

Materials $75,000 USD

  • rice sacks
  • wire
  • tools
  • wood and timber for doors and roofs (some is salvageable and will be re-used).
  • tin roofing (some of the existing sheets can be reused plus we have 200 x12 foot high quality roofing sheets being used for temporary shelters, we plan to re-use these)
  • cables and wiring
  • plaster
  • paint
  • glass for windows
  • stone for foundations

Rain Water Harvesting System $7,350 USD
Water tank $800 USD x 7 schools (= total of $5,600 USD)
Filtration system $250 USD x 7 schools (= total of $1,750 USD)
Quoted by Smart Pani

Solar panels

To include solar panels, invertor and batteries $1,000 USD per School = total of $7,000 USD
We are investigating a lead on this where we might be able to get free solar installations per school and just add additional panels.

Toilets

Dry toilets; $500 USD per School = total of $3,500 USD

LOCAL MANPOWER
When building the schools, we plan to use local manpower as labour for carting goods, manual work and skilled local people for carpentry, masonry etc.
We will sit with the VDC and set wages (we need to compromise as we are providing a service) and work out a roster per ward so that people are entitled to labour and income in a fair way.

POSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMPACT
There is a high probability aid handout can create substantially reliant communities who do not acquire the resolve to help themselves.

In response NCRR observes the following three arguments.

HEAVY RELIANCE

Nepal has a long history of international aid collaboration. This, hypothetically, can affirm an identify similar of; a sense of apathy among local people when considering who or where the offer of assistance may originate from, or create the expectation that it comes freely. Due to this, NCRR are determined to work responsibly in coordination with the villagers and to introduce sustainable living resources to assure long term self-sufficiency. NCRR will assist and support, however, any project we create will be coordinated with local involvement and encourage local ownership. The project completion time will be clearly communicated and there will be a formal handover to the local VDC and or Ward at such time.

ONGOING PERIODIC SUPPORT on a SLIDING SCALE

These villages have suffered huge losses of food stock, seed stock and livestock. It is not our intention to go into an area and provide short-term food and relief. However, NCRR are dedicated in offering long term periodic support on a sliding scale to the chosen area. Over time we expect these villages to increase their productivity with regard to food, shelter and other areas of recovery. At such time NCRR will slowly withdraw our physical presence and remain periodically observant.

REPEAT EVENT

As Nepal is a geographically unstable country, there is a high probability of a repeat natural disaster. NCRR are very mindful of this probability in any rebuild, ensuring that the rebuild phase is done following the best earthquake resilient building practices.

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