Improving school safety in Nepal
27 June, 2012
Safer school infrastructure can provide shelter for the community in a crisis. Photo: Ben Reese/AusAID
Nepal is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The country is exposed to multiple hazards, most prominently earthquakes, floods, landslides, windstorms, hailstorm, fire, glacial lake outburst floods and avalanches. Nepal is ranked 11th in the world in terms of relative vulnerability to earthquakes and 30th with respect to floods. The incidence of disasters in Nepal is increasing due to very high and rising vulnerability. Most of the buildings and infrastructure in Nepal are constructed without hazard-resistant technology, making structures more vulnerable to disasters.
The Asian Development Bank provides technical assistance to the Government of Nepal through the School Sector Reform Program. A new component in this program is school safety. This focuses on helping to improve school safety, especially in densely populated areas, through vulnerability assessments, retrofitting and/or rebuilding of schools, providing orientation for teachers and students on best practices in school safety, and training for masons, engineers and sub-engineers in school safety construction. Australia has made a one-off $3.9 million contribution to this project.
Proofing schools against earthquakes and other disasters has the additional benefit of these buildings being available for community shelter and coordination during a crisis.
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Last Reviewed: 27 June, 2012