Soon, the temperature in the low valleys rose to 36oC, and the space under the metal became ovens. Temporary schools also overheated, and there were reports of children dehydrating and fainting. Once the monsoon came, the sound of rain on the tin roofs made teaching impossible. Strong winds tore the paper-thin steel sheets loose, turning them into flying guillotines.
Poor families had no other option than to stay in their temporary makeshift houses, turning a large part of Central Nepal into slums. These were not homes.
Our Sustainable Mountain Architecture (SMA) team came up with an alternative design for transitional homes, made from salvaged material and locally grown bamboo or thatch. The base of the single-storey house is a thick, heavy stone wall; the main structure re-uses timber columns, beams and rafters of the family house that came down.
The top part of the walls and the roof are made of lighter material, the horizontal timber tie beams had new metal wires to act as stabilising cross-bracing so they were stronger. Salvaged planks or bamboo, and the compulsory involvement of family members in the building process guaranteed ownership of the transitional homes built for only Rs40,000 each.
Shaking up the health sector, Sewa Bhattarai
Quake was a learning experience for Nepal’s schools, Prakriti Kandel