CalEarth, the Superadobe folks who helped build the earthbag domes that comprise the Pegasus Children’s Project near Kathmandu, Nepal have sent out this press release:
Superadobe/Earthbag Orphanage Withstands Nepal Earthquake
Cal-Earth Low-cost Sustainable Earthen Housing Solutions Proved Effective and Safe in Earthquakes
Cal-Earth Institute today announced they received confirmation that the Superadobe/Earthbag orphanage project built for the Pegasus Children’s Project in the northern Khathmandu valley in Nepal survived the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015, and the structures are all still standing.
A UK organization, Small Earth, built over 40 domes in 2006 for the Pegasus Children’s Project in Nepal, which is home to over 90 children and their caretakers, all of whom are confirmed safe after the earthquake. Trained by a Cal-Earth alumni in 2005, Small Earth’s founder, Julian Faulkner, shared the news: “The domes have come through relatively unscathed with just surface cracking to the plasterwork… in the village below the site 15 houses have collapsed and many others are badly damaged with all the villagers now sleeping under tarpaulins in the fields.”
Faulkner stated the superficial damage to the buildings is a “testament to the quality of training we received that has enabled us to further develop the technology for use in climates as diverse as the temperate UK, the monsoon-drenched Himalayas and the African savannah.” Pegasus is raising funds to rebuild a brick structure that was destroyed during the quake, but feel validated in their choice to build earthbag domes to withstand the extreme conditions.
And from the website of the Pegasus Children’s Project:
News alert – our children are all safe and sound following the dreadful earthquake on Saturday 25th April 2015.
Our children’s hostel is based on the Eastern outskirts of Kathmandu on the edge of the Sundarijal forest. We have around 110 children and staff living on site. In 2006 our UK charity raised the funds to build over 40 earth-bag domes on the site which are variously used to accommodate our staff and kids.
The domes have survived the earthquake well – this is what they are supposed to do. But we have two substantial traditional Nepali style brick buildings on site – one is the main house, and the other is a large three storey dormitory, dining hall and study hall. These buildings have been shaken very badly, and have substantial cracks – they are still standing, but are not habitable due to risk of collapse. Currently our children are squeezed into the earth domes, sleeping on the floors, sharing beds, and eating and studying outside.
Our children attend Pegasus English School in Jorpati, East Kathmandu – we make up 25% of the school children at the school. The top floor of the school has large, dangerous looking cracks, and urgently needs significant structural repairs to make it possible to re-open the school.
We need your help urgently. The monsoon is approaching – we need to act straight away. We need donations to our emergency supplies and repair fund. We need long term sponsors to commit to supporting the children in our hostel in the longer term. You can donate via the paypal button at the bottom of this page.