“This short film by YuCha shows the post-earthquake reconstruction of the school of Mulkharka, a small village in the district of Sindhupalchok, Nepal, using the earthbag technique. YuCha works in partnership with First Steps Himalaya for the rebuilding project.
The building was completed in 2016 with the help of volunteers and local people in just over two months. Children are already using the classrooms and are delighted to move out of their temporary learning centres which are not conducive to learning.”
Outstanding preview. Can’t wait to see the full documentary! The film crew asked me for my opinion of this school when we toured the project a few months ago. I don’t know if what I said will make the final cut of the documentary, but I told them this school is as strong as an army bunker. It’s bullet and blast resistant, and would easily stop a speeding vehicle. I’m also pleased to note how the crew was very happy and had lots of praise for Durga, the co-founder of First Steps Himalaya and site supervisor. Durga said they have been successful at raising funds for additional earthbag projects. The local community is completely supportive of these earthbag projects after seeing how their first earthbag school has already survived three earthquakes without structural damage while every other building in the entire district collapsed. This story was documented in the Nepali Times article Sindhupalchok’s Sorrow.
WHY DO EARTHBAG BUILDINGS STAND UP TO EARTHQUAKES?
“Earthbag buildings tend to flex and distort during an earthquake rather than suddenly collapse as wood framed, adobe, brick and concrete block structures do. Barbed wire and plaster mesh hold the bags together in case of collapse, thus greatly reducing risk of people getting crushed. Building with earthbags can be done for low cost, and requires less skilled labour than traditional masonry construction, allowing community volunteers to help. They are constructed using local, natural materials, which lowers the high level of pollution commonly associated with the manufacture and transportation of bricks.”