45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 2015 - Page 99

IN CONTEXT Working towards a culture of safety Nepal is a multi-hazard state. Many development organisations and the MoE and MoPW have spent more than two decades educating the Nepalese people about the inherent dangers of their homeland. Because of annual awareness exercises that are maintained with multilateral coordination, the people of Nepal have begun to invest their own money and resources into retrofitting projects. In Nepal, the government provides anywhere from 40 to 75 percent of school retrofit funds. The rest is up to community education programs and their ability to collect community contributions. In regions where private and government engineering capacity is not sufficient, community assets supplement the MoE’s efforts to complete projects. Nepal’s MoE along with the NGO National Society for Engineering Technology (NSET) have trained masons, bar benders, engineers and architects in hazard-resistant design and construction. At the same time, they have exposed school staff, parents, students and other community stakeholders to basic disaster risk reduction principles. They hold shake table demonstrations, bring engineers to schools and celebrate Earthquake Safety Day. Key considerations for the Post-Construction Stage How will the safety of the school be maintained through years of operation? Safety School staff may want to make substantial changes to the safer school years, even decades after construction. Some changes, such as adding classrooms, removing walls or adding doors and windows, may affect the structural integrity of the building. User manuals and maintenance plans can help clarify which changes require the approval of qualified engineers and what ongoing maintenance is needed to preserve the safety of the school. What special events, curriculum and committees can be developed to highlight the school site as an example of safer school construction? A safe school should remain a permanent teaching tool for safe construction and disaster risk reduction in the community. What training or support does the community need to execute routine maintenance? Capacity building The staff charged with routine school maintenance may not have been part of school construction. They will need to be trained in the hazard-resistant features of the school so they understand how best to maintain them. Maintenance schedules can help automate routine activities. What training or support does the community need to conduct non-structural mitigation? In earthquake zones, school staff and students should secure non-structural hazards – heavy furniture, flammable materials, and important equipment that could fall, break or injure occupants during earthquakes. In flood zones, evacuation plans should include securing loose items, covering windows, bracing doors and elevating education material that could be damaged in floodwaters. Agencies implementing community-based school construction should make a public commitment to safer school construction. This requires a regular process of evaluation and donor education. Lessons learnt should be shared and internal capacity should be built. Sustainability What agreements and funding are in place for school maintenance, use and alteration? A safe school can easily become an unsafe one through lack of maintenance or dangerous alterations. While maintenance is a routine aspect of operations, without a sufficient funding stream, it will be postponed and the school will slip into disrepair. At completion, stakeholders should draft maintenance and user manuals. They should also establish roles, responsibilities and funding for routine maintenance and safe building alteration. SECTION III: POST-CONSTRUCTION How will all stakeholders reflect on, share and build on good practice and lessons learnt? 90