Akasha Academy site in Suntakhan

Healing the Wound on our Land in Suntakhan

As part of the collaboration with Sustainable Mountain Architecture (SMA), the work in Suntakhan continues towards the realization of Akasha Academy. One crucial aspect is the overall stabilization and preparation of the land for future constructions. Before the next monsoon starts, it is especially urgent to stabilize the area where a landslide occurred in 2020.

What is a monsoon?

Nepal, as well as Asia overall, is affected by a period of heavy rainfalls once a year, which can have a great impact on the structure and appearance of land. Monsoon is essential for the local ecosystem, watering of plants, and for clearing of dust accumulated in the months before. However, it is often a cause of landslides, especially in hilly and sandy areas such as ours.

Landslide 2020

In 2020, a landslide occurred at an especially vulnerable spot on the land. This happened due to the cutting of trees and plants in the past, which would have kept the land stable and prevented waterflow from causing damage. Lack thereof allowed for the land to simply slip away. Therefore, stabilization is most urgently needed in this area before the next monsoon to prevent further harm.

Redirecting monsoon rain

Working on stabilizing the land is one of the most interesting and intense parts of the collaboration with SMA. While there are many ways to stabilize, together with the help of SMA and their expertise, we found an option which is not only practical, but goes according to our values to respect nature.

Watch Aerial view of landslide reconstruction on YouTube

To stabilize the 2020 landslide area, constructions are currently ongoing in order to build three gabion walls on top of each other. Each gabion construction is about 8 meters long, consisting of wire baskets filled with stones (see picture). These walls function as natural steps, allowing plantation between them and can redirect as well as slow down the water streams.

construction of gabion walls
construction of gabion walls
construction of gabion walls
gabion wall

It takes 3-5 monsoons for this part to be fully stabilized. During this time, nature will grow through and around the walls, enhancing the stabilization process. After this time, some of the stones can even be removed and reused.

sketch of gabion walls