Update: CAN’s work after the earthquake

Please click on the above photos of Engineer Glyn Utting’s recent visit to Nepal to view them full size

Update on CAN’s current work following  the earthquake  (28 Nov 2015)

It has been a very time active time over the last few months at CAN.

In addition to continuing the earthquake response work  CAN has been  busy organising  the 40th Anniversary events and lecture series commemorating  Doug’s ascent of Everest South West Face in 1975 and the publication of his long awaited autobiography (Vol 1)  ‘Up and About – The Hard Road to Everest’ earlier this month (November).

This has meant we have not updated the website/Facebook information about CAN’s work in Nepal as frequently as we had hoped to. We hope this current update is a start in putting this right.


A large group representing CAN (UK), headed by Doug Scott, is currently visiting Nepal.

The team comprises of medical doctors, engineers, fundraising experts, CAN UK office staff and CAN volunteers and Trustees .

It will be a hectic few weeks for the team with: extensive site visits to CAN supported communities and rebuilding projects; meetings with Government officials and departments; meetings with sister charities also working to on rebuilding communities and work programme and planning meetings with the  CAN (Nepal) team headed by Murari Gautum. The visit will also be a boost to the  moral of CAN’s team in Nepal and the communities so badly affected by the quake.

Artist and climber Andy Parkin will return to Bahrabise School to take art classes with the pupils studying from temporary accommodation. The children will be delighted to see Andy!

If possible the team will post reports from their visit directly onto the CAN website over the next few weeks …. access to computers and the internet notwithstanding!


Glyn Utting, a Civil Engineer and Principal Project Manager with consultancy group WYG, made another visit to Nepal on CAN’s behalf last month. Thanks to WYG for their incredibly generous support of CAN in this way. Glyn heads back out to Nepal in early December.

Glyn is leading the very important practical work of rebuilding collapsed schools and  Health Posts after the quake. He was accompanied by Graham Earnshaw, a Scout Leader from West Yorkshire who has organised and led many school construction projects in Nepal for CAN over the years.

HERE IS GLYN’S REPORT (part of which featured in an earlier update)

CAN Nepal staff Engineer / Overseer Roles

 The massively increased building work load  means more staff were needed.

The roles for Engineer and additional buildings overseer have been fulfilled. This now means CAN have 3 key roles to oversee and lead designs for the rebuild projects. Kesheb, is the lead engineer. He is on board with all the earthquake resistant design features planned and understands the urgency of getting projects moving.

Potential delays to programme

There is currently a  fuel crisis in Nepal and it is having a knock on effect to transport, cooking fuel and getting supplies around the country. This will lead to inevitable delays.

The other major delay to rebuilding  is the state of the roads. In Melamchigaun the road is worse than when we visited in July. Realistically major building materials will not reach Melamchigaun till probably late December. Given this we met with the various committees in Melamchi and developed a plan to improve the tented village the school children are living in. It involves building timber structures over the tents with steel sheet roofs for better weather proofing and insulation. We will also start insulating the class rooms to be more wind proof over winter.

Work in North Gorkha

While in the CAN office we met with Tej who had just returned from North Gorkha. He showed me photos of progress from Prok and Bihi. Both showed very encouraging progress and had adopted the earthquake resistant measures we had sent through (rectangle shape footprint, ring beams, regular through stones etc).


The health post is unoccupied but the villagers asked if we could bring the nurse back from Melamchi to see some sick villagers prior to the start of Dashain. Purna and Murari agreed this was sensible. I checked the crack above the Health Post and it has not worsened since our last visit.

Although villagers would  prefer to rebuild the Health Post in its current location, this may not be ideal due to landslide risk. Other alternative locations, subject to land availability, are now being discussed.

Kesheb carried out a material survey and has ideas on how to rebuild on the same plot if the decision is made.

We also viewed the school below the health post and have made some notes that we will pass on to sister charity Caritas who have taken ownership of the rebuild.


We stayed at the  village for 3 days to develop an action plan on how we can take this forward. Graham expertly led a measured survey and has drawn up the results in AutoCAD. We will share this information with Caritas.

We did a measured survey of the Health Post and Kesheb will draw up potential designs for the rebuild. Graham may also have potential ideas for future Project Nepal involvement to assist. We also drew up plans to rebuild the women’s group meeting building (not funded by CAN but we provided a simple plan to assist in rebuilding).


We again carried out a survey of the Health Post. Since the last visit the villagers have cleared most of the debris. I am still confident that the foundation can be reused with some minor works around the edges, particularly where existing walls were located.


We carried out a measured survey of the site. We now have a more accurate layout of the site boundary and believe it is sensible to build part of the school or accommodation to the front of the land area. This will need to be agreed with the locals but in order to build single storey it is the only feasible solution. The key issue on this site continues to be the difficulty of  removing the existing concrete school. In all other sites the villagers form a building committee and the work force. The concrete construction at Bahrabise means this approach is unlikely to be possible.

Ghunsa School

The school comprises of 4 buildings and toilet block. One of the 4 buildings has been destroyed and currently has a temporary building on its footprint.  The other 3 buildings comprise of an 7 classroom L-shaped block and a rectangular 2 room block built 3 years ago and a rectangular 5 classroom block built 17 years ago. Firstly all 3 buildings are still standing but the oldest (17yr old) block is heavily damaged and unsafe and will need to be rebuilt.

I feel strongly that the whole school should be rebuilt again with earthquake resistant techniques using stone and timber.

Ghunsa Health Post

On a positive note the health post has been repaired and from inspection is safe and structurally sound. Although the construction does not have the earthquake resistant techniques (through stones, ring beams etc) it is lined in timber panels internally and the stone work has been removed above ceiling height on the gable ends and provides sufficient safety that stones would not fall inside.

Lapcha School

The stone work walls have held up well at Lapcha. There are some buckled walls along the long single storey school building that will need repairing. The main issue of this building is the roof. I would recommend that the roof is replaced with new timbers and steel sheets. While the roof is taken down the damaged walls could be rebuilt.

Ghyamrang School

A new retaining wall is needed to the  front of the school. Keshab and I have measured up the wall and the gabion cages have been purchased and the stones will be delivered soon. Keshab will provide design and instructions for build. I also recommend that the school requires some maintenance (new glass for broken windows, painting and general upkeep)

Rohiguan School

The existing retaining wall is still stable and Keshab and I recommend some cement and sand is purchased and a screed is laid at the top of the wall to ensure water runs off the edge of the wall and not down the cracks. This should future proof the school through the monsoon seasons.

Thank you Glyn for the comprehensive and detailed survey work you have undertaken.





Go Back
© 2016 Community Action Nepal | Registered as a Charity number: 1067772
Website Design Creating Causes | Sitemap