16 Government Officials Trained


A highly earthquake-prone country, Bhutan is considering introducing confined masonry construction, which has shown to have performed well in earthquakes in other countries. In May 2016, 12 engineers and technical staff from the government of Bhutan participated in a week-long ‘linking and learning’ in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Representatives from the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (Department of Disaster Management and Department of Cultural Affairs) participated. 

Training included:
– participatory presentations about Build Change and our programs, the mechanics of confined masonry construction, parameters for the design and analysis of confined masonry construction, and case studies of confined masonry construction projects in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Haiti.
– experience sharing about technical assistance and training for confined masonry construction, and the development of image-based Design and Construction Guidelines

– practical visit to an ongoing confined masonry construction project, where participants engaged in site supervision using technical checklists.
– day-long training in confined masonry construction techniques at Build Change’s Training Center at the Eastern State Samar University in Guiuan. 

As one of the objectives of the workshop was to ‘link and learn’, the Bhutanese representatives also shared information about typical construction in Bhutan, and we were able to draw parallels with our Nepal program. We look forward to continuing to support the Government of Bhutan as it considers introducing confined masonry construction technology.

Previously, Build Change provided a one-week training to four engineers from Bhutan on earthquake-resistant design and construction practice. The engineers came to our office in West Sumatra, Indonesia, and completed many activities as a part of this training, including:

– a two-and-a-half day hands-on training, which included training sessions on ERDC and retrofitting buildings and retaining walls.
– two full days of field visits in the Padang Pariaman region, including visiting the region hardest hit by the 2009 earthquake, to observe Build Change’s post-disaster housing reconstruction project sites and work in building capacity to produce better-quality materials.
– a half-day round-table discussion in Padang with local government officials and other non-governmental organizations to learn about post-disaster reconstruction and disaster risk reduction experience and initiatives in Indonesia.


Region and Risks

Bhutan is at high risk from earthquakes, situated in one of the most seismically active regions of the world.

Bhutan adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1998. Most older construction and new construction in areas with little code enforcement is at risk.