The monsoon period has arrived in Nepal, but building work at the earthquake-damaged schools in Solukhumbu is going great guns thanks to the hard work and logistical planning of our local partners, writes Howard Iseli, Rebuild Programme Manager.
Sling loads arrive
At the four upper schools, Khumjung (pictured above), Thame, Monjo and Phortse, all the building materials are now on site. The team adapted their plans and decided to use a smaller helicopter with a sling so that materials could be delivered directly to schools. The original plan was to use a larger helicopter that would have needed to use a certified helipad, and then materials carried by porters for the final stretch up to the sites.
The team faced challenges with delivering the roof timbers for the upper schools. At schools elsewhere, they were able to source locally-milled timber. But as the upper schools are high in the buffer zone of the Sagarmatha National Park, timber is scarce and protected. So the roof timber had to be sourced from near Salleri.
At Thame School, the six classrooms under construction look like that might be finished within a month.
Disruptions but no delay
At the four most difficult to access lower schools of Pelmang, Soluban, Bumburi and Buksa, the majority of materials had made it to site by the end of May, before the monsoon period. Certainly more than enough materials are on-site to keep work moving along on track during the monsoon.
At Pelmang and Soluban the delivery of cement was disrupted mainly due to the local Village Development Committee elections that took place in May and June. There hasn’t been a local election in Nepal for 20 years, so these recent local elections are a landmark moment in Nepal’s transition to democracy.
Hard work and good planning
Thanks to our partners, the hard work of a great many porters, and some effective planning, the building work is on schedule and we look forward to seeing these classrooms completed and handed over to the community by the end of the year.
Map of the eight remote schools
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Thank you to everyone who made a donation the Nepal Earthquake Rebuild Appeal and made all this work possible.