Bid to use bamboo resources to rebuild quake-hit communities

KATHMANDU: A joint initiative has been launched to use abundant bamboo resources to rebuild the communities devastated by the earthquake last year.

The initiative is funded by the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and implemented by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) in partnership with the Government of Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and ABARI, a research and design firm that promotes the use of natural materials in contemporary design practices.

The current CFC project will build 150 homes and 10 transitional schools by May 2016.

"Over the last 15 years, INBAR and private sector partners in Nepal have developed a number of modern bamboo building systems that meet international ISO standards and have excellent anti-seismic properties," ICIMOD said in a statement today, "These systems and the related technologies are now mature and can offer an affordable, durable, highly renewable, and rapidly deployable source of building materials for Nepali communities affected by the April 2015 earthquake."

"They have received wide recognition and have been implemented in many reconstruction activities in post-earthquake Nepal."

The sustainable use of Nepal’s 63,000 hectares of bamboo forests will help generate local employment; reduce vulnerability to future earthquakes as bamboo has higher tensile strength than steel and greater compressive strength than concrete; remove the need for imports, as construction material will be sourced locally; and protect foreign currency reserves, the statement added.

Meanwhile, a workshop was held in the Capital to discuss the project today.

Speaking at the workshop, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Agni Prasad Sapkota said, "Bamboo is a multi-faceted material that can be used not only to help in land restoration, but also in earthquake reconstruction as it light weight and strong.”