150,000 People in Better Housing: Nepal 5 Years On

Dear Friends of Build Change,

Five years ago, in the wake of a massive 7.8 earthquake that instantly destroyed more than a million homes in Nepal, Build Change began its most ambitious post-disaster program to date.

Nepal today is a country with better, stronger, safer housing, achieved through Build Change’s powerful combination of resilient building, national housing policy change, and pioneering technologies designed to empower homeowners to rebuild better.

Thanks to Build Change and its partners, more than 150,000 people are living in over 24,000 newly constructed or structurally strengthened houses.

Through “Build Back Safe” community engagement—forum theater, awareness flyers, and a retrofit awareness movie— Build Change has reached at least 378,000 people across all 32 earthquake-impacted districts.

More than 52,350 homeowners seeking advice on how to rebuild have visited the network of Technical Support Centers operated by Build Change and its partners. And by training more than 8,425 government engineers and construction professionals in safe building, Build Change is helping to ensure that future homes built in Nepal will withstand disasters and protect families.

While engineering know-how and in-depth community engagement are the cornerstones of Build Change’s success in Nepal, greater efficiency through technology has also been key to scale.

Technology innovations include the use of drones for rapid aerial assessments, the creation of a mobile app “Surakshit Ghar/ Safe House”, endorsed by the government of Nepal to aid homeowners in assessing their houses, and perhaps the greatest innovation of all: a 3D automated tool to make the retrofit design process 97% faster. Build Change’s advance on artificial intelligence won runner-up in IBM’s 2018 Call for Code competition, and is a first-of-its-kind use of the well-known Autodesk software programs Revit® and Dynamo®.

Nepal’s recovery is a study in the very human qualities of resilience, perseverance, and teamwork. These are qualities exemplified by our partners at all levels:  Nepali NGOs and universities, international NGOs and movements, UN agencies, central and local governments, individual donors, corporate partners, and institutional donors. You remind us that from the greatest challenges often come the greatest progress—a valuable lesson during a difficult time for so many around the globe.     

Finally, to our incredible, 98% local Nepali staff: your dedication inspires us all.  None of this would have been possible without you! 

Thanks to all for this massive but incredibly worthwhile effort! 

Noll Tufani
Country Director, Nepal
Global Director, Post-Disaster Programs
Director, New Frontier Technologies

A Few of Our Partners: