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Shigeru Ban joins Nepal relief as second earthquake strikes

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Pritzker Prize-winner Shigeru Ban has joined the disaster relief effort in Nepal. Meanwhile a second major tremor has struck the country

The Tokyo-based architect and his humanitarian relief outfit Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) will deploy emergency shelters in the region.

Ban’s announcement came roughly one week before a second 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal yesterday (12 May).

The country was plunged into chaos by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April – flattening buildings, killing more than 7,000 people and injuring thousands more.

Matt Carapiet, a 23-year-old student architect from Kent and former architectural intern at Zaha Hadid Architects is one of two Britons confirmed to have died.  

Around 68 deaths and 1,250 injuries have meanwhile been caused by the latest tremor which destroyed some buildings still standing after the previous upheaval.

VAN has announced it will provide shelter, housing and other community facilities to the disaster-struck region.

Acccording to a statement on the practice’s website: ‘As an emergency response, we will deliver tents that have been collected through donation and will assemble at disaster affected area as a shelter and medical station.

‘Because these tents have only roof of membrane, we will use plastic sheets also donated by contractors as walls.’

The organisation will work with local universities, students and architects on the relief effort and will also assist with permanent housing during later stages of the reconstruction.

UK-based architecture charity Article 25 also launched an appeal for donations to rebuild Nepal’s schools shortly after the initial disaster.

So far the campaign has received £8,500 and is 15 per cent towards reaching its fundraising target.

How to donate

The Voluntary Architects’ Network is welcoming donations to the following account:

  • Branch: HIGASHI-MATSUBARA Branch
  • Account Name : Voluntary Architects Network
  • Account No : 319-0036997
  • Swift Code : BOTKJPJT (or BOTKJPJTXXX if asked for 11-digit code)
  • Bank Address : 5-28-18 Matsubara, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 156-0043

Article 25 is also seeking donations for its Nepal reconstruction appeal ‘Building Schools – Changing Lives’

RIBA response to Nepal earthquake

Following the recent earthquake in Nepal, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has the following advice for members who would like to support the aid efforts:

  • Donations

In the first instance, money is the most important resource.  It needs to be channelled through organisations with wide experience of disaster relief, already present in the country, familiar with the territory and well-connected with local organisations and agencies. In the UK, the main channel for making donations is the Disasters Emergency Committee, representing the 13 major relief agencies. Alternatively, Article 25 has launched its own urgent appeal for donations.

  • Technical Assistance

RIBA is working with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help identify Nepalese nationals or others with relevant local or regional experience to provide technical expertise.

The IFRC has already deployed approximately 100 people to support the Nepal Red Cross in search and rescue efforts, emergency health, water and sanitation, relief, shelter and interagency coordination as well as support services such as telecoms and logistics.

Given the operational constraints in the country, most agencies are wary of overloading country teams at this stage. However, the IFRC anticipates there will be a need for additional technical expertise in due course.

RIBA members or practices with the necessary expertise and experience to help – particularly those who would be fully funded or self-resourced – are encouraged to register their interest with RIBA Head of International, Marcus Deeley, marcus.deeley@riba.org






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