FirstSteps

Latest news on earthquake devastation in FSH Project Villages



Rotary District Grant: Sep 2015-Sep 2017

Earthbag Rebuild School Project, Sindhupalchok, Nepal

Progress Report: Aug 2016

1.0 Introduction:

1.1 The purpose of this report is to update the Rotary Club of Ellon and Rotary District 1010 on the progress of the Earthbag Rebuild School Project funded by a Rotary District Grant ( Sep 2015 to Sep 2017).The report covers the period from to May 2016 to August 2016.

1.2 Background: Following the successful implementation of Early Years Education Projects with other Rotary grants, First Steps Himalaya proposed a new district grant to rebuild Jana Jyoti School Sangachok following the earthquake of April 2015. The massive 7.9 tremor devastated the project area with 95% of schools severely damaged. This grant of Nrs 2,071,378 (GBP 13,500) was received to enable First Steps Himalaya to replace damaged classrooms at Jana Jyoti School Sangachok and carry out repairs and maintenance to the project vehicle provided from a previous rotary grant.

1.3 Limitations: Weather: The monsoon has been particularly heavy this year which always causes problems with transport, building and life in general.

1.4 Change in Building methods: The method for rebuilding the school needed to be reviewed for various reasons. This included the fact that the site for the build would have been too narrow for the size of classrooms required. As earthbag walls are thicker than standard walls, it would have been tricky to complete within the existing metal trusses that survived the earthquake. This made the earthbag building plan extremely challenging. Moreover, a large quantity of bricks were salvaged when the old school building was dismantled by UN volunteers. An international organisation called ‘Build Change’ http://www.buildchange.org has been working in Sangachok as part of earthquake recovery. Build Change provide earthquake resilient construction training showing local people the essential steps to building stronger safer buildings with bricks. Jana Jyoti School was offered the opportunity to have four classrooms rebuilt as part of the Build Change project. The remaining seven classrooms (5 school classrooms and two from the ECD) is being funded by First Steps Himalaya through the Rotary District Grant. It therefore made senses for all the school classrooms (other than the ECD classes) to be rebuilt using Build Change’s methods. This allows the school to recycle building materials whilst adopting safe building practices.

1.5 General situation: People continue to live in shelters. This is particularly difficult during the monsoon as water leaks into the shelters creating muddy and slippery conditions. The noise of the rain on tin roofs makes it hard to sleep. When it is sunny, the temporary shelters become intolerably hot. People get more bites from insects especially mosquitos in temporary shelters and the heat can be suffocating.

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There is a lot of illness. When children are not at school, they play in the muddy water which can easily lead to sickness. Most of the children are still studying in temporary classrooms which are not conducive to learning. They are noisy, dirty, hot in summer and cold in winter. The ECD and class 1 children are lucky to be able to use the earthbag training centre as classrooms. This means that they can learn in a suitable environment.

2.1 Project progress:

2.2 Building Work: Work has begun on the rebuild of classrooms at Jana Jyoti. The community under the guidance of one of the trustees of First Steps Nepal have commenced construction of the recycled brick classrooms. The concrete base has been laid and the walls have been started. To make the brick walls safe, there are three concrete beams laid horizontally within the walls every 3 feet. The walls fit inside the existing metal trusses which were rescued from the original building after the earthquake. The building is planned to be completed in the next few months.

2.3 Work on the round earthbag classroom that was began in October, continued in March/ April. A circular bond beam was put in place and the roof structure put on. This is due for completion along with the accommodation block at Sangachok in October/ November this year.

A second earthbag classroom is scheduled to be built in October. A team from ‘Sustainable House’ in Adelaide, Australia are travelling to Nepal in October to assist with building this and other earthbag projects. Some of the team have earthbag built before and we are delighted to have their help.

2.4 Car maintenance: This work is more or less complete. There will be some more maintenance to carry out late 2016/2017.

3.0 Teacher Training: In April/May volunteer teacher trainers from NZ conducted workshops in Sangachok. (This was omitted from the last progress report as photographs were not available at the time of reporting). One of the trainers had run workshops for us in the past and returned accompanied by two other teachers. The workshops were practical and covered storytelling (and extending storybooks), exploring resources and simple role plays (e.g. shopping)

In July, The British School in Kathmandu hosted 10 teachers from our project schools including 5 teachers from Jana Jyoti, Sangachok. The group attended The British School primary section for three days. Each teacher was assigned to observe a different classroom and our project manager coordinated them. This was an excellent opportunity to see an international school in action. The teachers learnt lots of simple techniques to try in their own schools as well as classroom management tools.

Local training: Ranjana Giri, our Project Coordinator attended training in July by the ‘Limited Resources Teacher Training’ team. This training was attended by over 70 local teachers and was in line with First Steps Nepal’s methods. The trainers were international (British/ American and Australian) and the training was provided through the government. They covered resource making, lesson planning, classroom management and games. We hope to attract these trainers back again.

4.0 Finance report: All figures in Nepali rupees

Activity 1- BUILDING

Nrs per classroom

Original Budget

Revised budget

Expenditure to May 2016

Expenditure To Aug 2016

Balance remaining

1.1 Transport

Fuel

11000

77,000

77,000

0

0

77,000

Hire of Transport to move goods

6710

46970

46970

0

35100

11,870

Bulldozer/specialist vehicles

8625

60375

0

0

0

0

Subtotal transport

26335

184,345

123,970

0

35100

88,870

1.2 Labour

Superviser

5000

35,000

35,000

0

0

35,000

labour

40000

280,000

280,000

0

59600

220400

food for labourers

11566

80962

80962

31,500

32,300

48662

Subtotal labour

56566

395,962

395,962

31,500

91900

304062

1.3 Building supplies

earth bags

6250

43750

43750

39,879

39,879

3,871

Galvanised tie wire

625

4375

4375

0

0

4,375

barbed wire

8985

62895

62895

11035

11035

51,860

plaster wire

6500

45500

45500

0

0

45,500

timber

50000

350000

350000

5043

5043

344,957

metal rods

25000

175000

175000

6500

6500

168,500

gravel

5000

35,000

35,000

0

5,000

30,000

sand for concrete

7500

52500

52500

0

30,000

22,500

tin roof

37500

262500

262500

0

0

262,500

nails, screws etc

5000

35,000

35,000

2690

2690

32,310

water tank share of school costs

2500

17500

17500

0

0

17,500

guttering and drainage

2085

14595

14595

0

0

14,595

paint brushes/rollers

885

6195

6195

0

0

6,195

cement

25000

175000

175000

14650

131164

43,836

electric sockets

4170

29190

29190

0

0

29,190

electric wire

4170

29190

29190

0

0

29,190

toilet repair share of school costs

16700

116900

116900

0

0

116,900

plastic covers and tarpaulins

5000

35,000

33381

0

0

33,381

Subtotal Building Supplies

212,870

1,490,090

1,488,471

79,797

231,311

1,257,160

Total building costs 7 classrooms

2,070,397

2,070,397

2,008,403

111,297

358,311

1,650,092

Activity 2: Project vehicle service/ repairs

Tyres

33775

33775

33775

22669

22669

11106

Parts

25000

25000

25000

25452

25452

-452

Labour

4200

4200

4200

13300

13300

-9100

Subtotal Project vehicle

62975

62975

62975

61421

61421

1554

GRAND TOTAL

2,133,372

2,133,372

2,071,378

172,718

419,732

1,651,646


5.1 Future plans: The plan for September to November 2016 is to:

• Complete the round earthbag classroom

• Construct a new earthbag classroom

• Oversee completion of recycled brick classrooms

• Complete the training centre and prepare for fit out

• Conduct English language training for key staff as well as offering workshops for local teachers on better English teaching

• Plan teacher training workshops with The British School, Kathmandu


6.0 Conclusions and recommendations: The building work is back on schedule and we aim to complete the school rebuild by November. The Training centre and accommodation block are also scheduled to be finished before the end of the year. First Steps Himalaya is very grateful for the ongoing support of Rotary clubs in District 1010 through this difficult period in Nepal’s history.