The earthquakes of April and May 2015 exposed the vulnerability of Nepal’s building stock to earthquakes. While the needs are great in the ongoing reconstruction, Yokohama City, Yokohama CITYNET Office, and the World Bank Tokyo DRM Hub jointly worked with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) to explore capacity building opportunities for KMC engineers as part of the DRM Hub’s Country Program. Together, they are conducting a series of nine trainings on structural and seismic engineering, engaging city officials and experts from Yokohama City in this effort.
Initially targeted just for KMC engineers, the trainings are drawing requests from other municipalities to participate, and there is an urgency to develop the technical capacity of officials responsible for ensuring a resilient rebuilding effort in Nepal. At the fifth training, organized by KMC on July 26-28, 2017, key engineers from municipalities in the Kathmandu Valley, as well as those from nine emerging municipalities from around the country participated and enhanced their skills.
Supported and connected through the World Bank Tokyo DRM Hub, engineers from these municipalities learned about local adaption of good practices used in Japan and globally, inspection process during construction, resilient urban planning and infrastructure, structural calculations and designs, etc. Participants from Nepal also shared local success stories. In particular, Dharan Municipality, one of the nine supported municipalities outside the Kathmandu Valley, presented key lessons learned and good practices used since it faced a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in 1988. Mr. Suraj Shrestha, Senior Engineer and Urban Planner, presented the municipality’s experience strengthening regulatory measures for building code implementation and land use planning, training and licensing masons, developing institutional capacity, promoting earthquake safety practices, and using tax credits and other incentives to enhance seismic resilience.
By joining the training, member of Parliament Mr. Ram Bir Manandhar, Deputy Mayor Mrs. Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha, and Executive Officer Mr. Eshor Raj Poudel showed the importance that key decision-makers are placing on making Nepal’s recovery efforts resilient and risk-informed. A sixth iteration of the training is scheduled for November 2017.