In September 2015, a devastating earthquake rocked Nepal and claimed the lives of over eight thousand people. It destroyed half a million buildings and damaged large amounts of the country's limited infrastructure. The devastation was compounded by the poor and unsafe construction in the country. Cheaply available brick and cement is widely used, often without proper reinforcement.
Adhish Gurung (seen in the photo standing on the right), has been promoting safe and sustainable construction in his home country for the last few years. Adhish graduated with a B.A. in Urban Studies from The New School in 2010. While he was a student, he focused on community organizing, urban environmentalism, and city planning. Now as a construction consultant and manager, he is helping influence public perception of newly available prefabricated construction materials that are lightweight, earthquake safe, and sustainable. At times, he also engages in the construction projects himself. Details of his work are available at pct.com.np.
Since the earthquake, the international donor community has pledged over four billion US dollars for reconstruction in Nepal, but as yet few funds have been released by the government. Adhish hopes to participate in the reconstruction as it unfolds. Meanwhile, he continues to work on designing and prototyping affordable construction technologies, and he plans to attend graduate school in the coming year with a focus on entrepreneurship in real estate development and construction.