In June 2016, PHASE Nepal completed the construction of four brand new earthquake resilient classrooms at the Seti Devi School in Thumpakhar, a Sindhupalchok village, funded by the Himalayan Development Fund Australia (HDFA).
PHASE Nepal worked with the local School Management Committee (SMC) to implement the project. The SMC provided and paid skilled labourers to complete construction, while PHASE provided materials and technical assistance. Developing good relationships and dividing responsibilities with SMCs is part of PHASE’s working model. Involvement at this level gives a sense of ownership of the school to the community, provides much needed employment for local labourers and allows engineers to share better and safer building practices with workers and, where possible, with the local community.
Seti Devi School has around 125 pupils; many of the secondary age children walk for hours to attend classes as this is the only secondary education provision in the locality. Temporary learning centres (TLC) built from corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets had been used prior to the PHASE project. Typically, they are very cold in wintertime, very hot in the summer and provide a less than ideal learning environment for children. The school Principal was delighted with the support from HDFA and PHASE Nepal involvement the new classrooms to improve education conditions for pupils.
PHASE Nepal’s dedicated project team managed to work around the blockade at the Indian border, materials and fuel shortages which encumbered deliveries to the project in Thumpakhar and completed the building project on time. Local vendors in Sindhupalchok were sourced to supply some of the materials, including corrugated galvanised iron sheets to repair a damaged roof and construction materials to build the classrooms.
In mid-June, representatives from both HDFA and PHASE Nepal attended an official handover ceremony at the school and were treated to a performance of traditional dancing by school pupils (see our post on PHASE Nepal’s facebook-page).
“The project was successful because of the brilliant cooperation and will of the local SMC, the engineer and the project overseer and our head office,” a PHASE Nepal team member reported.
In the same community, PHASE Nepal is planning to rebuild Chamuna Devi School with support from HDFA.