Outlanderings

Adventures of Two Americans Living and Working in Nepal

Solukhumbu Development Project

The Solukhumbu Development Project is a five village initiative that aims to bring clean water supplies and educational infrastructure to the Solukhumbu Region of Nepal, famous for being home of Mt. Everest.

In addition to installing a water supply in the village of Purdu and a water supply and biogas toilets in the village of Taksindu, the SDP will bring educational facilities to the villages of Phuleli, Basa, and Chiwang.

A joint venture between Edge of Seven and The Small World, an NGO based in Nepal, the SDP sought the collaboration and design input of Architecture for Humanity chapters in Denver, Austin and Boston. While one of the SDP’s main goals is to introduce new building methods to the region that will improve quality of life by reducing building costs and improving earthquake resistance, leadership and members of each village will be heavily involved in vetting and providing feedback on building designs and new technologies. All parties involved are working side-by-side village members to ensure local ownership.

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One building method the SDP seeks to introduce and implement in the region is earthbag construction.  Earthbag construction is a masonry form of construction that uses polypropylene bags filled with dirt as the building block with plaster applied to the exterior. It is lauded for it’s durability, especially in high seismic zones like the Everest Region, sustainability, and affordability. Aside from its earthquake resistance, one of the main benefits to building with earthbags in this region, where there are no roads and all materials must be carried in on foot, is the fact that the dirt can be harvested locally. The bags and other tools required are lightweight and can be easily transported in.

To see photos and an example of earthbag construction, check out the earthbag shed the Austin chapter of Architecture for Humanity built for the New Farm Institute in Austin, Texas.

Currently, we are still fundraising for the Solukhumbu Development Project and there are several volunteer trips to Nepal planned for those who want to get involved from the ground level. To learn more about how you can support these villages financially or by volunteering, visit www.edgeofseven.org.

One thought on “Solukhumbu Development Project

  1. Pingback: No Direct Flights from Boise to Bangkok? Shocking. « Outlanderings

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