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Building Better: Transforming Homes and Lives with Safety Upgrades

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The Afno Ghar project enhances earthquake resilience by restoring 649 stone masonry houses, ensuring safe living conditions for 3,580 people. This initiative reinforces homes with wooden bands and educates residents about maintenance, significantly improving community safety and sustainability.

Reviving Traditions - About the Afno Ghar Programme

The Afno Ghar project is a focused initiative designed to restore the structural integrity of 649 dry-stone masonry houses constructed during the REAP project from 2015 to 2019. These homes, integral to the cultural and historical fabric of their communities, are reinforced with timber bands to meet the stringent performance standards set by the National Building Code. This restoration not only affects the physical structures but also impacts the lives of 3,580 residents, ensuring their homes are safe and durable. The specific restoration activities include the rectification of plinth bands and vertical posts, replacement of damaged horizontal and vertical bands with wooden cut pieces, and treatment of all exposed wooden bands with protective paints to increase their resistance against moisture and insects. This chapter lays out the technical foundation and scope of the project, detailing the methods and materials used in ensuring these traditional homes can stand the test of time and nature.

Context and Strategic Implementation

Afno Ghar programme, rooted in the Rehabilitation of Facilities for Earthquake Affected Population in Sindhupalchowk (REAP) project. It outlines the deterioration observed in the wooden components of the houses due to environmental exposure and the lack of maintenance, prompting the need for a systematic restoration. In August-September 2022, a survey was conducted to assess the damage, revealing significant decay from moisture and insects. The strategic implementation of the restoration process is meticulously planned and involves several key phases: comprehensive site assessments, stakeholder engagement, piloting restoration techniques on selected houses, and crafting detailed timelines and risk management strategies to guide the execution. These phases are crucial for adapting the restoration methods to the unique challenges posed by each site and ensuring community involvement and buy-in.

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Briefing about the project modality
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Progress and Future Directions

The final chapter presents the current status and forward-looking aspects of the Afno Ghar project. As of the last reporting period in late 2023, key stakeholders including beneficiaries, municipal representatives, and local partners were extensively briefed on the restoration methods and the importance of ongoing maintenance. The initial phase of the project saw the successful restoration of eight pilot houses, enhancing the safety of 44 individuals and training 80 masons in specialized restoration techniques. Looking ahead, the project is ramping up its efforts with all necessary materials and workforce resources nearly finalized, aiming for major restoration activities scheduled from March to mid-June 2024. This chapter not only reflects on the achievements thus far but also outlines the project's objectives and coverage area, emphasizing its commitment to improving living conditions and earthquake resilience for thousands of inhabitants in vulnerable communities.

  • Project Name
    AfnoGhar Project
  • Funding
    This project is funded by donations and Swiss Solidarity.
  • Budget
    CHF 1,202,654
  • Thematic focus
    Humanitarian Response