Making Contacts at the Earthbag Rebuild Nepal Summit

The Colorado Nepal Alliance joined with Nepali architects, engineers, NGOs, and others this past weekend at the Earthbag Rebuild Summit at Kopundol in the Lalipur District of Nepal, to hear speakers, meet with experts, and evaluate the technique for use in rural villages devastated by the April 2015 earthquakes and aftershocks. CNA Director Anne Hines and Nepal Project Coordinator Gopal Tamang were joined at the summit by Rajan Simkhada of Mamata Volunteers, an NGO that will be partnering with our organization on rebuilding projects in rural Nepal.

Earthbag Rebuild Nepal Summit - Lecture

Dr. Geiger at the Earthbag Rebuild Nepal Summit (Photo Credit: Good Earth Nepal)

The main speaker at the summit was Dr. Owen Geiger, the preeminent expert on Earthbag construction. Earthbag construction is a cost-effective technology for building earthquake resistant schools and homes that we are investigating for use in rural Nepal. The technique is durable and low cost, and may be a good fit for communities we work with. Crucially, while it is labor intensive, it does not require labor from skilled builders, only training. CNA is exploring how to best provide materials, training, and engineering support to residents of our partner villages, and hopes to make earthbag construction techniques available to the communities we work with in the near future.

Earthbag Rebuild Nepal Summit - Learning

More than just lectures, the summit provided great opportunities to meet with engineers, builders, and other NGOs.  (Photo Credit: Good Earth Nepal)

The summit was an excellent opportunity for CNA to make contact with Nepali builders and architects who have experience in earthbag building. In the coming days and weeks, we have meetings planned with builders to learn about other technologies and techniques appropriate for the mountain villages we work with.
Our immediate goal is to investigate and present several appropriate, proven, and safe rebuilding options to the communities we’re partnering with. We’re passionate about finding the right fit for each community we work with, and understand how important it is to find building methods that are both technologically and culturally appropriate for our partners in rural Nepal.

The Colorado Nepal Alliance is always interested in collaboration with individuals and organizations that share our goal of helping residents in rural Nepal rebuild using cost effective, durable, and safe techniques. If you think you can help, please contact us. We would also appreciate any support of our rebuilding efforts you can provide.