Unprecedented growth in earthbag building is being fueled by Nepal’s huge need for affordable housing and schools.
We are truly living in remarkable times. They say necessity is the mother of invention. In the same way, adversity can boost development of alternative solutions. This is what is happening in Nepal since the recent earthquakes. Nepal is a country of rugged mountains and remote villages where transporting building materials is very difficult. It’s not practical to carry steel, bricks and heavy bags of cement on your back for long distances. Nepali architects, engineers, builders, NGOs and villagers very quickly understand the logic of using earthbags and simple tools that are available in every village to rebuild their communities. They love the concept and now hundreds of projects are being planned.
In just two weeks or so I’ve already trained over 120 workshop participants, and another 150 or so are coming soon. Each group gets to see, hear and do each step of construction multiple times over a two day period, and receive a free copy of my earthbag book (with printing donated by GoodEarthNepal.org). In addition, each group gets a free copy of my Earthbag Building DVD and a flashdrive of all the PowerPoint presentations, photos, house plans and PDFs used in the training so they can return home, study the materials in more depth and give presentations in their villages. Each group is being asked to copy, copy, copy – share the files with everybody to help spread the information across the country as rapidly as possible.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s happening here. There’s barely time to report what’s happening. We’ve had one meeting with the government and at this point it seems earthbag buildings will be approved. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned.
Think about it. How would you rebuild after a disaster in a remote mountain village where money is very limited?