An innovative renovation
Rehabilitating a building to bring it into compliance with anti-seismic standards? The belting method for buildings is already known in some countries. But in Nepal – to our knowledge – it had never been used. Until our association decided to use it.
In 2015, after the terrible earthquake that devastated parts of Nepal, causing considérable damage, we raised funds from people who had been moved, here in Switzerland, by the disaster. An amount of CHF 11,185 (2015 earthquake donations), supplemented by a donation from a generous donor family in Switzerland, was allocated to this rehabilitation.
A Swiss architect, commissioned by the président of the Swiss Sagarmatha Organization, worked on the project to reinforce the old building of the Sagarmatha Center, which had been shaken and cracked by the tremors. Vertically, the building had held and the foundations were not deteriorating. But in order to prevent a possible collapse of the building in the event of a new strong earthquake, we opted for a belt.
An outer belt -made of interconnected metal beams- was placed around the building at the floor level of each level. An inner belt was installed and attached to the outer belt and to the floors. This binding and laying of belts compress the walls together and hold the building pressurized by the floors. The work, supplemented by masonry and painting, was completed in early 2017.
This renovation certainly required significant financial resources compared to the limited means usually available in Nepal for this type of renovation. But this investment seemed justified to ensure the safety of the children and staff of the Sagarmatha Center in the years to come, with the knowledge that a new strong earthquake can never be ruled out in this part of the world. Hence, the building can now withstand any potential new earthquakes of up to 8 on the Richter scale.
Other projects to date
- Distribution of clothes, books, games, medicine…during each trip to Nepal
- Organization of trips and visits (within and outside Kathmandu) for children from Sagarmatha (since 2006)
- Payment of school fees, including uniforms and school supplies for all the children (2006, 2008, 2011, 2013, etc.) thanks to the International School of Geneva
- Construction of an annex with showers and toilets (2010)
- Donation of ten laptops (2011)
- Painting of the inside and outside of the building (2011)
- Installation of individual lockers for the personal belongings of each child (2011)
- Purchase of toiletry kits for each child (2011)
- Resurfacing of the terrace of the main building (2011)
- Gas installation to replace kerosene for cooking (2012)
- Reorganisation of the food storage area and purchase of metal crates to stock food (2012)
- Donation of six laptops (2012)
- Construction of a small building to house the future library (2012)
- Fitting out of a storeroom and laundry room (2013)
- Protective paint for the toilet and shower buildings (2013)
- Preparation work for the future library and playroom (2013)
- Purchase of a supply of gas tanks (2013)
- Purchase of musical instruments (2013)
- Purchase of shoes for children of the orphanage (2013)
- Purchase of two metal bookshelves (2013)
- Purchase of two washing machines (2013)
- Purchase of blankets (2013)
- Construction of a new building with a dining hall, kitchen and double bedrooms (2013-2014)
- Purchase of a generator for the new building (2014)
- Purchase of equipments for the new building’s kitchen (2014)
- New infirmary (2014)
- Supply of medical and non-medical equipment (2014)
- Donation of knitted sweaters (2014)
- Donation and purchase of games and toys (2015)
- Mini-training for young people in the drafting of a CV (2015)
- New jeep (2015)
- Old building renovation following the 2015 earthquake (2016)