Several initiatives and activities were arranged during the AIT team visit to Nepal to assess how AIT can support the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Nepal. The following are some of the activities and meetings conducted:
Seminar on Low Cost Disaster Resilient Housing Technology
A high-level seminar on the topic “Low Cost Disaster Resilient Housing Technology” was jointly organized by the Social Democracy Studies Centre and the Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM), where AIT’s Habitech technology was presented. The seminar were attended by around 120 participants, including lawmakers, former Deputy Prime Minister, Vice-Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), National Planning Commission (NPC) Members, former and current Permanent Secretaries and Director Generals of the Government of Nepal, and professionals involved in housing technologies and development planning.
Meeting with ICIMOD to Explore Collaboration on Reconstruction Plans
The AIT team met with the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) for a possible collaboration to build eco-friendly houses as part of Nepal’s reconstruction plan. AIT’s past experience in such housing and community projects are best seen in housing projects in Thailand post tsunami and in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis. The “Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation Project” in Thailand was awarded “Best Community Housing Project” for year 2008.
During the meeting, it was proposed to construct a model house, as a demonstration or pilot project at the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari, where neighboring communities have been severely affected. The Habitech house built in Nepal before it was hit by the quake could also serve as a demonstration since it has proven to be disaster-resilient.
Meeting with the Rotary District of Nepal
The Rotary District of Nepal is planning to build 1,000 low cost houses for devastated villages in rural Nepal, and is considering using AIT’s Habitech technology. The Rotary Chapters are highly supportive of AIT’s Habitech technology, and it was agreed to build some pilothouses, funded by Rotary, in a badly affected community in Patan district (Sunaguthi).