Working with ASF-Nepal and A&D March 21, 2016

I moved to Nepal just over a week ago to work with ASF-Nepal and A&D in their joint program for reconstruction after the devastating earthquakes of 2015. I am here as a technical adviser to their Technical Support Office, where we provide architectural and engineering advice free of charge to those local NGOs that otherwise would have no access to it (get in touch if you think we can help your organisation), based on the criteria of Building Back Better and Safer.

I visited Nepal in June 2015, soon after the earthquakes, and my impressions after this second trip have been bitter-sweet. On the one hand, the streets that I saw deserted last year, with very few open businesses and limited supplies, are now buzzing again. Tourists are slowly returning and hopefully some of the interrupted livelihoods in the cities are recovering. On the other hand, the official reconstruction, the actual hands-on rebuilding of houses, community buildings and infrastructure, has barely started.

My first impressions are very mixed. I want to think that the government wants to be fair in distribution of aid, but the start of reconstruction is well overdue. Something (many things) have not worked to plan.

I am getting used to life, bureaucracy and pollution in Kathmandu. After one intense week of work crammed with meetings and discussions, I have some grasp of the government’s current plan for reconstruction. Now I need to learn how to get things done over here. There is a lot to get done.

Patan Durbar Square, World Heritage Site, busy with visitors again

Patan Durbar Square, World Heritage Site, busy with visitors again. Almost all temples suffered in the earthquake, some of which have been demolished, while others are propped awaiting restoration.

Alejandra Albuerne

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