Background and Objectives:
The victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan have been affected in a wide variety of ways including; lost lives, damaged or destroyed homes, affected livelihoods, disruption of services (health, school), and widespread displacement.
UN-HABITAT responded to this disaster by committing to build 333 culturally and environmentally friendly shelters in Palas Valley of District Kohistan of North Western Frontier Province (NWFP). Each shelter comprises a room for human occupation and a covered shelter for cattle.
This project was designed as an emergency response to the widespread destruction of housing in the earthquake-affected highlands of North Western Frontier Province. With the onset of winter, many families urgently needed winter/emergency shelters to protect themselves and their livestock from the harsh winter.
The one-room shelter design is socially acceptable, is based on nationally available materials and local technology and was developed by UN-HABITAT in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan and the Emergency Architects.
The emergency shelter’s lower courses of the walls are built from polypropylene sacks filled with soil and the upper courses with crop wastes, straw or pine needles for lightness and insulation. The roof is corrugated iron sheeting, insulated internally the same way as the upper walls and suspended from strings fixed between the timber ridge and the wall plates.
The structure is earthquake resistant with the soil filled bags in the lower part, bound with 14g wire to the wall plate for wind resistance in the roof. The upper bags are bound with wire but are lightweight to minimize earthquake forces. The roof sheeting insulation and timber in the emergency shelter will be reused in the permanent shelters.
The main activities include:
Assuring that housing construction complies with the UN-HABITAT/UNDP guide for earthquake resistant construction of Non-Engineered Rural and Suburban Houses in Pakistan.
Carrying out extensive consultation with beneficiaries and confirming their acceptance of the design and technology of housing.
Purchasing tools and materials locally to support local economy.
Providing building assistance not only for durable shelters for people but for disseminating information on earthquake resistant building techniques.
333 houses constructed in Palas Valley.
One toolkit provided for an average of every three shelters.
The World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan construction teams were trained to build the shelters in villages where material distribution took place.
Technical staff, training and assistance were provided in erecting shelters in partnership with Emergency Architects (UN-HABITAT).