Friday, February 3, 2017
Seismic Solutions for Earthquake-Prone Schools in Tajikistan
A longtime Bellevue, Washington, entrepreneur, Amin Andy Lakha guides all aspects of complex development projects, from property acquisition to lease management. Amin Andy Lakha is also involved in philanthropic efforts that benefit the less fortunate and contributes to nonprofits such as the Aga Khan Development Network.
The charitable organization supports a wide range of humanitarian efforts in areas from education to health. One signature project involves a school safety initiative in Tajikistan, which is on the World Bank’s list of “disaster hot spot” nations. From 1980 to 2010, more than 6 million people in the country were affected by earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The current program was piloted in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tajikistan government, and involved the retrofitting of a dozen schools across an earthquake-prone region. The schools had been constructed through shared community labor three decades ago and were in a state of deterioration. Interventions completed included the strengthening of foundations, seismic netting for walls, and new pillars to help hold up roofs. Shortly after completion, the schools successfully withstood major tremblors that hit the region.