Approvals, demolition, and documentaries

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Meeting with the Apchaur villagers to discuss the next steps.

Last month some ABIN Board members returned to Nepal to meet with Nepali government officials, and our local design team (Creative Services). On this trip ABIN entered into a partnership agreement with the Society For Economic Development (SODEC), a Nepali non-profit. This was an important step as such partnerships are required in order work in Nepal. Rob, Parshu, and Dave spent many hours working with Creative Services. Our goal of finalizing the school design and submitting it to both the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) and Central Level Project Implementation Unit (CLPIU) for approvals was achieved. We will be constructing the walls using an interlocking style of concrete block. This system is a dry laid type of masonry that is reinforced with rebar and concrete grout. Important from a seismic perspective, cast-in-place concrete lintels poured above and below all window and door openings and at the top of walls. The lintels run completely around the whole structure at these intervals. When we visited the school site in fall 2016 it wasn’t possible to drive to the school; however, the people of Apchaur have since built a road, partially by hand, so that we can bring supplies up to the school site.

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Apchaur, 2 years post-quake.

One of the buildings fell in the 2015 earthquake and has been replaced by a temporary structure built from corrugated steel and bamboo. The other building was heavily damaged and condemned. The people of Apchaur were trying to raise the 25,000 rupees ($350 CDN, approx. half a year salary in Nepal) needed to demolish the second building, which had to happen before we could begin construction. Raising money is difficult for farming communities as they mainly deal in barter trade, so this was going to take all the village’s saving and more. While at the village last month, ABIN made the decision to give the village this much-needed money. The villagers were very pleased, and got around 30 people over the following days to demolish the building. We are now ready to start building!

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The condemned school building and one of the Apchaur council members.

Nick Versteeg of DV Media joined the ABIN board in Nepal. Nick is working on a follow-up to his documentary on the 2015 earthquake. We will let you know when his newest documentary is complete. Please take a look at Nick’s website for information and a blog about his time in Nepal. All the stunning images in this post were provided by Nick.

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Rob, getting his hands dirty doing some Nepali style building with the locals.

Over the next few weeks we hope to be sharing with you news about supplies being brought in and the foundation commencing. This dream has become reality and we are grateful for everyone involved. We are still about $20,000 away from our goal to complete this school so please consider making a donation, you can even send an email money transfer to info@anotherbrickinnepal.com as this avoids the fees charged by GoFundMe.

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