Field survey of schools and residential buildings in Nepal

5 June 2022

Field survey of schools and residential buildings in Nepal aiming to study the status and resilience of reconstruction after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.


Dr Rohit Kumar Adhikari, a Research Fellow with the UNCESCO Chair in DRR-RE at UCL has been conducting  field work in Nepal from 03rd May to 30th May in relation to the Structural and Functional Resilience of Schools in Nepal project (SFRES-Nepal). SFRES-Nepal is sponsored by the UNESCO Chair at UCL and aims to develop an assessment methodology for both the structural safety and functionality aspects of school infrastructure. Dr Adhikari conducted a 15-day long field survey of structural as well as functional data including the WASH facilities, environmental quality on about 80 schools reconstructed after the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake in Chautara Sangachowkgadi Municipality of Sindhupalchowk, a rural mountainous district. During this visit, he met with the local project partner, NSET-Nepal representatives as well as Prof Prem Nath Maskey, a leading seismic expert in Nepal to get update on the current status and quality of school reconstruction and to strengthen the ties between the local partners and the UNESCO Chair at UCL for effective collaboration in the SFRES-Nepal project and beyond. The project is also an opportunity for local capacity building, and five recently graduate engineers were trained and contributed to the fieldwork. Initial observations show that the code compliance and structural resilience in school construction has improved significantly in comparison to pre-earthquake scenario. However, the functionality issues such as adequacy of WASH facilities, environmental quality within the school facilities need further analysis.  This will be the focus of the SFRES-Nepal project.

Example of newly built school buildings after the Gorkha earthquake (Janajagriti Secondary School, Sangachowk, funded by Asian Development Bank).

During this field visit, Dr Adhikari also participated in the EEFIT Recovery Mission to Nepal, seven years after the Gorkha earthquake. His focus in this mission was to observe the status, seismic code compliance and structural resilience of residential houses and schools, built after the Gorkha earthquake. He visited and collected primary data on 10 school facilities, UNESCO Heritage site in Kathmandu (Basantapur Durbar Square) as well as residential buildings in Chautara, Gorkha and Barpak village, within few kilometers of the epicenter of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, which was completely destroyed. The findings of the field mission will be communicated during a presentation at the Institution of Structural Engineers as well as via an EEFIT report.