KAVRE, NEPAL (18 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Nepal handed over the newly reconstructed Shree Kali Devi Primary School in Kavre District to the community at a ceremony today. The April 2015 earthquake had badly damaged the school, destroying five classrooms and other school facilities.
“The reconstruction of the school was an opportunity to build back better, and now the school is not only rebuilt to earthquake-resistant standards but also provides an improved learning environment for children,” said Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, ADB’s Country Director for Nepal. “We hope this new building will inspire teachers and students to do their best.”
The newly reconstructed school has 7 classrooms and a library in 3 buildings as well as separate toilet blocks for girls and boys. The buildings are modern structures resistant to earthquakes and designed with disabled-friendly features.
Prior to the construction of the new buildings, students were taking classes at temporary makeshift classrooms. “If the new buildings were not constructed, the school would have to be closed as the number of students was dwindling,” says Prem Lal Shrestha, the school’s head teacher. “But now, we are confident students will come back as parents also feel the new buildings are safe.”
The hand-over ceremony was also attended by Madhu Prasad Regmi, Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Dhruba Prasad Sharma, Executive Member of National Reconstruction Authority, local community, and members of the media.
The school was reconstructed under the Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project (EEAP) jointly financed by ADB, which provided $200 million, and the Government of Nepal, which provided $33.4 million. The United States Agency for International Development provided $10 million in cofinancing.
The project is rebuilding 154 schools damaged by the earthquake that would enable thousands of children to return to school. Eleven schools are ready to be handed over to the community. The schools include stronger construction and engineering specifications that are designed to help the structures withstand future earthquakes. The EEAP-supported school reconstruction program is scheduled for completion in early 2019.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.