Revitalizing Traditional Pati (Info Falcha) : An Innovative collaboration between MIT, LUMANTI and Community
A traditional "pati" is a multipurpose community infrastructure in traditional Newari settlements. Patis are a living example of co-operative management of public infrastructure with centuries old cultural legacy. The Info-Phalcha project was envisioned a "pati" as a vital physical and cultural infrastructure with dual function; a place where people gather after a disaster , supporting communities in these extreme events, in addition to their day to day public anchors. The "pati" and its open space around it will also be used as a means to tackle some of the issues of water in Thecho, through storage, treatment and distribution in a way that it improves the ongoing scarcity of water. In addition to this, the project also aimed to improve the energy and communication access for people on day-to-day basis and act as an emergency back up in the times of disaster. After assessing a number of patis in various traditional settlements in Kathmandu Valley, the MIT and Lumanti team identified, Kutu Phalcha in Kutujhol area in Thecho. The original pati was not damaged by the earthquake. But the structural elements such as the timber pillars and concrete roofing were in the dilapidated state and were in urgent need of reconstruction.
The project was implemented in partnership between Lumanti, Thecho Mahila and Info- Phalcha Reconstruction Community User Committee. The designs were finalized with consultation with the community. The project also improvised the construction techniques used to rebuild the "Pati". Lighter roofing option using steel truss was used instead of heavy jhingati tiles in order to give space for solar panels. The steel structure is concealed below the wooden planks and clay tiles so that the pati maintains its traditional look. A reservoir tank was constructed below the existing dabali to store the water for daily use as well as a reserve during emergencies. Water treatment process using Bio Sand filter was installed at the back of the "Pati". The user group manages the distribution of the water.
The platform below the pati was used for storing the materials which would be needed for search and rescue during emergencies and disasters. A Disaster management committee was formed at the ward level to manage the stockpile and training was provided to a team of young volunteers of the area to manage the emergency situations. A guideline was developed for the maintenance and management of the system of Info-Phalcha so that the committee has a reference. A monitoring committee comprising of Ward Chief, Cooperative Chairperson and representative from the ward DMC is formed and will support the Committee to manage the system efficiently.
The project has a positive impact in the community and Thecho as a whole. The idea behind the project is very innovative and should be replicated in other traditional settlements as well. Lumanti is exploring other funding sources to scale up this idea in other areas.