My sister at work
Disaster Resilient Housing in Bangladesh
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Following phase one analysis the need for improved, sustainable housing in areas at risk of a range of natural disasters (standing water, flash floods, monsoon rains, cyclones, earthquakes…) along the southern coast of Bangladesh is ever apparent.
All funds raised will be used in the construction of housing for identified beneficiaries. The builds will also act as demonstration houses for the wider community as well as full-scale research prototypes exhibiting a range of earthen architecture solutions.
Current NGO/INGO responses range from 78,000 BDT (£608) to 160,000 BDT (£1248). Unlike such standardised shelter programmes this project will offer a range of designs, which take into account individual beneficiary needs and expectations, micro site analysis and a holistic design approach.
Preliminary costs for each house are estimated at between £900-£1100. The more money raised the more houses that can be built and therefore more families that can directly benefit.
The girl knows her bamboo
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Bordered by India, Myanmar and the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. The low-lying nature of the terrain (with a large percentage of land less than 12m above sea level)means that Bangladesh is vulnerable to flooding and is now widely recognised as one of the countries at greatest risk from climate change. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)states that a 1m rise in sea level will engulf approximately 13% of the landmass in the southern belt, displacing 15-20 million people by 2050.
In recent years Bangladesh has witnessed a wide range of disasters, including Cyclone Sidr in 2007, Cyclone Aila in 2009, floods and landslides throughout 2010 and 2011. In conjunction with emergency response efforts, disaster risk reduction is key. Working with local communities to strengthen the capabilities of individuals and families to cope with natural disasters and their complex effects is a necessity. Improving shelter construction technologies and techniques based on successful existing practices is just one of the many aspects needed to encourage community self-reliance rather than dependence on aid.
The research aims to investigate the existing role of earth architecture and construction in areas with acutely limited assets whilst offering simple low-cost improvements. The 12-month project can be broken down into three key stages:
Phase 1 – Analysis of existing conditions and emergency/development approaches offered by NGO/INGOs
Phase 2 – On-site development of improved earth construction techniques
Phase 3 – Working with local communities to design and construct a series of demonstration houses
The poorest section of society is often the most vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters (rising water levels, river bed erosion, environmental degradation, spread of infectious disease, disruption to livelihoods, civil conflicts, building/infrastructure damage…) and with nearly half the population of Bangladesh living on less than $1 a day, the project seeks to address a great need.
A dry day in the country
THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Article 25 states:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.