24848943-Shelter-Projects-2008-IASC-Emergency-Shelter-Cluster by noidarocker

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									                                                  Shelter Projects 2008                              INTRODUCTION


Shelter Options 2008

Much has been written over the years about the challenge of providing shelter for households affected by crises, whether
they are human-made or result from natural events. In spite of the many reports commissioned by governments, donors,
independent experts, multilateral and international aid organizations that provide a variety of recommendations on issues
ranging from design to cost analysis methods, shelter remains one of the most controversial and challenging components of
sustainable recovery from disasters.

In recent years, the humanitarian community has looked inward, learning from their past experiences in providing emergency
shelter for the ever-increasing number of populations suffering from crises worldwide. The humanitarian reform process has
helped widen the community of practitioners, reinforced global and country-based coordination systems, and required the
agencies concerned to seek new and better means of ensuring integrated and robust humanitarian programming.

This publication is an example of a series of learning tools being produced to support improved response to crises. It has
been developed by the Emergency Shelter Cluster through a group of agencies within the cluster led by UN-HABITAT.
It contains summaries of a range of experiences applied in crisis situations, and an honest appraisal of their successes and
failures. From these, a number of key principles emerge.

One key principle is that the survivors of these crises must be given every opportunity to engage in their own recovery.

approaches to post-disaster shelter and settlement responses, several of which are well illustrated in the case studies in this

A second principle is that without immediate strategic planning covering land use, tenure, livelihoods and critical services, in
addition to shelter options, there is a danger that temporary solutions become, de facto, permanent ones. As well as failing
to address the risks and vulnerabilities that may have contributed to the scale of the crisis, poor or inadequate programmatic
responses can increase shelter and settlement vulnerabilities. A number of the case studies illustrate these considerations.

A third principle follows from the above – that is, all change demands social mobilization, the involvement of the affected
population and the appropriate local authorities, and legal compliance. Immediate shelter solutions must therefore consider
long-term settlement issues, both for temporarily displaced populations and those who are able to return to the location of

tent based emergency shelter solutions that are rapid and cost effective can also be culturally acceptable to the populations
they are designed for, in both the short term and over a longer period of recovery. This publication highlights a number of
such examples.

losses following a crisis, all contribute to reducing demand on humanitarian capital while maximizing potential opportunities
for recovery.

with our interagency partners from the Emergency Shelter Cluster, we encourage the study and widespread use of these

INTRODUCTION                                       Acknowledgments


Project coordinated by UN-HABITAT on behalf of the Emergency Shelter Cluster: Esteban Leon, Joseph Ashmore
Edited by: Joseph Ashmore
Lead authors: Joseph Ashmore (Asia, LAC), Jon Fowler (Africa), James Kennedy (Sri Lanka, Cuny Center).
Authors (specific sections): Eddie Argenal (Peru - self-build transitional shelters), Milton Funes (Honduras), Dave Hodgkin
(Jogyakarta), Kurt Rhyner (Peru - community mobilisation).
Editiorial support: Seki Hirano

Special thanks: The authors would like to give special thanks to the following people for providing case study information,
editing drafts, and for providing the photographs:

Hassan Abdalla, Subhan Ahmadov, Eddie Argenal, Dyfed Aubrey, Lizzie Babister, Eric Baranick, Rick Bauer, Isaac Boyd, Joana
Cameira, Michelle Carter, Chris Cattaway, John Flomo, Tom Corsellis, Milton Funes, Valle Galan, Catherine-Lune Grayson,
Jens Grimm, Anamul Haque, John Howard, Cynthia Jones, Yasmin Keith-Krelik, Peter Krouwel, Unni Lange, Mark Lawler,
Dan Lewis, Manoucher Lolachi, Julia Macro, LeGrand Lee Malany, Bill Marsden, Tom McKnight, Jelena Milosevic, Douglas
Osmond, Paul Neale, Nicole Poirier, Anna Pont, Albert Reichert, Adelmo Risi, David Sanderson, Qurat Sadozai, Graham
Saunders, Hassan Noor Saadi, Anna Maria Sellari, Charles Setchell, Thierry Schweitzer, Alister Shields, Jo Da Silva, Joana
Sousa, Mikael Adri Budi Sulistyo, Wondwossen Teffera, Ombretta Tempra, Kim Williamson, Matthias Wohlfeil, Jake Zarins.

Additional thanks to the Cuny Center in Washington DC, USA for allowing access to the documents that have provided the
case studies in Section D.

A final thanks to all of the field staff who have worked so hard to make all of these projects possible.

Copyright notice:
The copyright for this booklet is retained by UN-HABITAT. Reproduction for non-profitable objectives is encouraged.
The copyright for the photographs remains with the photographers whose names are indicated on each photograph.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the content of this book, no liability can be
accepted for any errors or omissions contained within it.

                                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                       INTRODUCTION


 Foreword on behalf of the cluster                                                                                                                i
 Acknowledgments                                                                                                                                 ii
 Contents                                                                                                                                       iii
 Introduction                                                                                                                                   iv
 Overview of Case Studies                                                                                                                        v
Section A - Africa.........................................................................................................................      1
 A.1 D.R. Congo - Goma - 2002 - Volcano - Distribution and technical support                                                                     2

  A.3 Kenya - 2007- Flooding - Shelter and disaster mitigation                                                                                   8
  A.4 Kenya - 2008- Election violence - Transitional shelter kits                                                                               11

  A.6 Mozambique- 2007- Cyclone - Shelter material packages and training                                                                        17
  A.7 Rwanda - 2008 - Returns - Materials distribution and technical guidance                                                                   20

Section B - Asia............................................................................................................................   29
  B.1 Afghanistan - 2002 - Returns - Shelter construction                                                                                       30

  B.3 India - Gujarat - 2001 - Earthquake - Non-food items and shelters                                                                         36
  B.4 Indonesia - Aceh - 2004 - Tsunami and earthquake - Shelter or housing?                                                                    39

 B.13 Sri Lanka - 2004 - Tsunami - Overview of the tsunami response                                                                             64
 B.14 Sri Lanka - 2004 - Tsunami - Transitional shelter construction                                                                            66
Section C - Latin America and Caribbean............................................................................                            69
 C.1 Honduras - 1998 - Hurricane Mitch - Transitional shelter                                                                                   70
 C.2 Peru - 2007- Earthquake - Overview of the response                                                                                         73
 C.3 Peru - 2007 - Earthquake - Community mobilisation                                                                                          74
 C.4 Peru - 2007 - Earthquake - Self-build transitional shelters                                                                                77

Section D - Historical Case Studies........................................................................................                    83
  D.1 Historical case studies - Overview - Case studies from the Cuny Centre                                                                    84

  D.3 Nicaragua- 1973 - Earthquake - Small Camp                                                                                                 89

  D.6 India - Andhra Pradesh - 1977 - Cyclone - Materials distribution and training                                                             97

  D.8 Tonga - 1982 - Cyclone Isaac - Disaster mitigation                                                                                       102

Annex - Further reading.................................................................................................                       109

INTRODUCTION                                             Introduction

    The case studies in this book are        While the number of people made           Selection of case studies
of real shelter projects that have been      newly homeless in 2007 was in excess          Given the scale of emergency
                                                                                       shelter need every year, the case
to an individual context and is the          of people are not able to return to       studies in this book focus on imple-
outcome of local assessments and             their place of origin for many years.     mented projects rather than small-
monitoring.                                  As a result, the total number of people   scale trials or concepts that were
None of the case studies in                  displaced in the world has remained       not implemented on any scale. There
                                             roughly constant at approximately         is also a regional bias towards Africa
this book should be directly                 15 million refugees2 and a further        and Asia, where the post-disaster and
copied.                                      25 million internally displaced people
    Because these projects were imple-                                                    The case studies were selected
mented in diverse and often challenging                                                according to the following criteria:
conditions, they illustrate both good
and bad practices. From every case                         Number of        IDPs           The shelter project had to have
study there are lessons that should                        countries                   been implemented in full.
be learned, and aspects that should be        Africa          20               12.7        A minimum of 500 families were
repeated or avoided elsewhere.                                                         sheltered by the project's activities.
                                              Americas        4                4.2         The project was implemented
Global shelter need                           Asia and        18               6.6
   It is estimated that over 5 million        Middle
                                              East                                     populations, chronic emergencies and
and natural disasters in 20071. This cor-                                              returns processes, longer timescales
                                              Europe          10               2.5
responds to approximately 1 million                                                    were considered.
families. While the largest proportion        Total           52               26
                                                                                           Accurate project information was
                                                                                       available from the staff involved in the
are in Africa and the Middle East, the       Estimated number of people                project implementation.
majority of those made homeless by           made homeless by natural
natural disasters are in Asia. Although
the numbers of people displaced by           2000-20084                                    The case studies that have been
                                                                                       selected are intended to illustrate a
                                                                     Number of
past ten years run into the several                                                    diversity of approaches to helping
                                                                                       meet shelter need. Most of them go
Latin America and the Caribbean than                                                   beyond ‘throwing shelter relief items
in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.          Africa                      2            off the back of a lorry’ or delivering
                                              Asia                       20            shelters as a design or a product.
There are approximately 40                    Latin America              1.5
million refugees and internally               and Carribean
displaced people in the world -
people who have been forced                   Europe                     0.1
to leave their homes...                       North America              0.1

                                                                                 Internal displacement: Global overview of
trends and developments in 2007
2. A refugee is a person who has crossed an international border and is unable to return through well-founded fear of
                           Handbook for Emergencies

are within the territory of their country.

                                                           Shelter Projects 2008                                                       INTRODUCTION

 Overview of case studies

    The case studies in this book cover          Support the people affected                                               Sphere standards                   and in-
a diversity of projects, from support
for families in collective buildings over        responses is made by the people who                      standards on participation, initial as-
                                                 are themselves affected. Of the case                     sessment, monitoring and evaluation.
to emergency distributions of plastic            studies listed in this book, the more
                                                 effective projects all had the close in-                               Supporting the people affected
sheeting within hours of an earthquake
                                                 volvement of the people affected, often
                                                 through existing community groups or                     guidelines of Transitional Settlement and
differences, there are many recurring                                                                     Reconstruction after Natural Disasters
themes. Some of these themes are                 specially established committees.
discussed in the following pages.

                                   Non-food item                    Shelter
                                    distribution                  construction





A.2 Eritrea - 2002

                                                                                                                                                                  Graphics: Transitional Settlement and Reconstruction after Natural Disasters
A.5 Liberia - 2007

A.6 Mozambique - 2007

A.8 Somalia - 2007

A.9 Sudan - 2004

B.1 Afghanistan - 2002

B.2 Azerbaijan - 1997

B.4 Indonesia - 2004

B.6 Indonesia - 2006

B.7 Indonesia - 2006

B.8 Ingushetia - 1999

B.10 Pakistan - 2006

B.11 Pakistan - 2006

B.12 Sri lanka - 2007

B.13 Sri lanka - 2005

C.1 Honduras -1998

C.3 Peru - 2007

C.4 Peru - 2007

C.5 Peru - 2007
                                                                                 Overview of assistance methods used in projects

INTRODUCTION                                               Introduction
Settlement Options                            Phases of response                                Which is better: a high
    The case studies illustrate support                                                         level of support for fewer
for disaster-affected people in a variety     commonly split into the phases of:                people or a lower level of
of settlements. These include host                preparedness before the disaster;             support for more people?
                                                  emergency response;
                                                  the recovery phase; and                        Self-build and contractor models
                                                  durable solutions.                             of construction
contexts, and planned and unplanned              Many of the case studies include                   Different projects used different
                                              shelter responses aimed at bridging               ways of organising the labour required
                                              the gap between emergency shelter                 to build shelters. The case studies in
                                              and durable housing solutions. Housing            Peru illustrate a mixture from self-build
                                              programmes can take many years                                                            -
supporting host families.                     to complete, especially when imple-               proaches, to contractors prefabricat-
                                              mented on a large scale. The project              ing shelter components that were then
    Finding shelter with friends and
relationsor by renting are common             project that took two years to build              the projects in this book provided car-
coping mechanisms for families who            220 houses. The speed of durable                  penters or masons to support self-build
have lost their house in a disaster.          shelter construction can leave a gap,             projects. In many projects, families were
                                              with families in emergency shelter for            provided with some money to either
studies of organisations providing            many years. Transitional responses aim            support them while building or to allow
support for hosting or rental arrange-        to bridge this gap.                               them to employ others to build.
ments.                                                                                          Logistics and supply
                                                 A comparison of the strategies
         Transitional settlement: displaced                                                       In many projects, logistics and
populations                                                                        -
                                              lustrates how long housing can take to            on both the design of shelters and
In most case studies,                                                                           the timescale for implementation. The
land ownership was a                          complete in comparison to transitional
                                              projects. However, as the case studies            scale of some procurements was huge
types of shelter support                      note, in implementing the transitional
were offered.                                 response there should be a vision of
                                              what is being transitioned to. Often,
Land ownership                                there is not follow-on funding or land            to ensure that shelter projects were
     Those without land are often                                                               implemented. Shelter staff had to work
among the most vulnerable people in                                                             closely with these staff members.
society. Approaches to land ownership         Scale of programme
                                                  The responses illustrate the                  Assistance methods
varied between the case studies. For                                                                The case studies selected include:
                                        -     challenge of whether to implement
                                              high quality programmes for fewer                 giving money to host families,
tions built primarily only on the land of                                                       upgrading squatted communal blocks,
people who could offer proof of land          people or poorer quality responses
                                              to support more people. The case                  establishing an inter-agency pipeline of
title. Building lighter shelters allowed                                                        shelter items and constructing shelters
people to later move them.                                                                      through both unpaid volunteers and
                                              this challenge. One project delivered
    A more active approach to estab-          materials to over 2% of the affected              contractors.
lishing land for families is illustrated by   population without support, while the
                                              other project built transitional shelters         on projects where families were given
after the tsunami, where the organisa-        for 0.2% of the affected population.              vouchers that they could redeem with
tion helped to negotiate land with title                                                        certain suppliers, although according to
deeds for entire villages.                                                                      anecdotal evidence this type of project
                                                                                                has been successfully conducted. No
                                                                                                case studies were found of loans being
                                                                                                provided to support families through
                By using transportable shelter                                                  the emergency or transitional phases
                materials, transitional shelter                                                 of the response.
                solutions can sometimes be found                                                Other sectors
                until land rights issues are resolved                                              Many of the more effective projects
                                                                                   Photo IFRC

                                                                                                were integrated with other sectors of
                                                                                                the response, especially water supply
                                                                                                and sanitation.

                                                                                                provides useful guidance on integration
                                                                                                with other sectors.

                                                Shelter Projects 2008                                  INTRODUCTION

                                                                                                                                  Photo: Joseph Ashmore
                                 Effective shelter programmes are developed and implemented by involving the affected communities

                                                                                    Duration of natural disaster

                                                                                    Duration of project
                                                                                    Latin America and Caribbean
C.3 Peru 2007                          24 days                                      Historical case studies
                                         2 months
D.3 Nicaragua 1973                       2 months
B.7 Indonesia, Jogyakarta 2006           2 months
C.4 Peru 2007                             3 months
B.10 Pakistan 2006                        3 months
A.9 Sudan 2004                             3 months
B.12 Sri Lanka 2007                        3 months
A.8 Somalia 2007                           3 months
D.2 West Bengal 1971                        4 months
C.1 Honduras 1998                           4 months
B.11 Pakistan 2006                           4.5 months
A.6 Mozambique 2007                            5 months
A.5 Liberia 2007                               6 months
C.5 Peru 2007                                       9 months
B.13 Sri lanka 2005                                 9 months
B.3 India, Gujarat 2007                               10 months
D.6 India 1977                                        10 months
                                                      10 months
B.6 Indonesia, Jogyakarta 2006                        10 months
D.9 Sudan 1985                                          1 year
                                                        1 year
D.5 Guatemala 1976                                        13 months
                                                            14 months
                                                                                  2 years
B.1 Afghanistan 2002                                                              2 years
D.8 Tonga 1982                                                                       2½ years
D.4 Bangladesh 1975                                                                     3 years
B.4 Indonesia, Aceh 2004                                                                  3½ years
A.2 Eritrea 2004                                                                                                           10 years
B.2 Azerbaijan 1997                                                                                                        13 years
D.7 Thailand 1979                                                                                                          14 years

                                       6 nth rt
                                       9 nth
                                       1 nth


                                        m t st
                                        m s
                                        m s
                                        ye s


                                          o a







                                                       Duration of project
                                                                                       Illustration of the duration of the case studies

 INTRODUCTION                                                                         Introduction

   Shelter design
       For most projects, the design of
   the shelters themselves was less chal-
   lenging than the design and planning of
   the shelter project.
       Many projects that built shelters left
   the design and construction of shelters

                                                                                                                                                                Photos: Joseph Ashmore
   to the people affected, focusing instead
   on ensuring that people had the means
   to build them or the support to build
   them safely.
                   All of the projects that successfully

   developed the basic shelter model in
   direct consultation with affected com-                                   Left: Design for a timber-free domed shelter proposed as a response to an earthquake
   munities, taking into account their                                         in 2005. Affectees were not involved in the design and it was not used on any scale.
   skills, capacities and resources.
                                                                            Right: Shelter using reclaimed materials built by affectees weeks after the earthquake.
                                                                                Shelters such as this were common and supported by programmes of toolkits and
                                                                                                         corrugated iron distribution (see case studies B.10-B.12) .
                  ‘If 3.5m2 per person cannot
   be achieved, or is in excess
   of the typical space used by
   the affected or neighbouring                                        covered living space

                                                                       Shelter size

   population,      consideration
                                                                           The illustration below shows the
   should be given to the
                                                                       diversity of shelter-covered areas in
   impact on dignity, health                                           these case studies. These vary from
   and well-being of the people                                        9m2               2

   accommodated...’                                                    of varying needs, permanency, budgets,

                                                                       logistics constraints, host standards

   - A guidance note to the
   Sphere (Annex) shelter and
   settlement  standard    for

                                                                                   21m 2

                                                                                                                                              7 people x 3.5m2
                                                                                  6m 2

                                                                                                                                              6 people x 3.5m2

                                                                                                                                              5 people x 3.5m2
                                           5m 2

                                                                                                                                              4 people x 3.5m2
Size of shelter
                   9m 2

                                                                                                                                              3 people x 3.5m2

                                                                                                                                              2 people x 3.5m2

                                                                                                                                              1 person x 3.5m2

                     I   I        I   I    I    I     I   I    I       I    I     I   I   I    I   I     I     I   I       I     I    I
                    B. Peru
                    C ndia
                    A. Hon
                    A. oz ras
                    A. om biq
                    C rit a
                    C Peru
                    B. Peru
                    B. Pak

                    A. Sri
                    B. ud ka
                    B. Sri
                    B. fgh ka
                    B. ogy ista




                      .5 re

                       10 is


                       13 an
                       6 ak n

                       6 d
                       8 am
                       2 al ue

                       9 la


                         A lan
                         J an
                         In ar

                         M u
                         E i

                         S n

                           Pa tan

                           do ta








   Case study

                                       Chart showing sizes of the shelters in the case studies in comparison with the suggested allocation of 3.5m2 per person.
                                      Note that smaller shelters are often constructed after assessment of local and host population standards, as well as what
                                                   is practically possible. Shelter size is not necessarily a good indicator of the quality of a shelter programme.

Africa                                           Shelter Projects 2008                                                  A.1

Strengths and weaknesses (continued)
 - The affected population contributed 5,000 individual
 land plots, 6,000 days of voluntary labour and payment for
 14,000 days of contract labour (equivalent to US$ 40,000).    After six years, a donor assessment found that:
 - US$ 140,000 was invested by the affected population             The project was used as a model for the provision of
 itself into the upgrading of their housing units by the end   8,000 more shelters funded by other donors.
 of October 2002.                                                  Transitional shelters had been converted into
     For families of eight or more people, space was           permanent housing.
                                                                   The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projects to monitor
                                                               the volcano continue, with a weekly report broadcast on
 compromised their privacy and security. It was easy to see    local radio.
 what people were doing at night due to the shadows cast
 on the plastic by lamps and people were worried that the
 plastic sheeting could be easily cut by thieves.

                                                                                                                         Photo: Graham Saunders
                                                                                                  Sample of a temporary house
Situation before emergency                     Approximately 80% of the affected        Two examples of the shelter were
   According to an NGO survey,            population reported that their
Goma, an important border trading         economic conditions had worsened as
town in the north-east of the Dem-        a result of the disaster. A quarter had    would look like and to make it easier
ocratic Republic of Congo, had a          previously used their homes as the         to discuss construction issues. These
depressed economy before the              base for their income-generating ac-
eruption, with 46% unemployment           tivities.                                  used to train all households in how to
and only 40% of people able to sustain                                               build the transitional shelters.
themselves and their family on their      Implementation
income.                                       Local authorities suggested a new          Tools and a marked length of string,
                                          area of land, largely bush land, for de-   used to measure out bracing sections,
    Before the emergency, shelter con-    velopment into a new site. This site       were supplied with each kit. Few con-
ditions were varied, with the average     was rejected, as it would have required    struction problems were reported due
house size containing around 31.5m2 of    the construction of a whole new infra-     to the simplicity and familiarity of the
covered living space. The volcano had     structure network (roads, sanitation,      design.
last erupted in 1977.                     etc.) as well as requiring considerable
                                                                                        Although all households received
After the emergency                       levelling. It would also have meant
                                     -    taking resettled people away from the
                                                                                     paid others to construct their housing
tional timber-framed houses, covering     economic opportunities in the town.
13% of the town in a layer of molten          Instead, an emergency shelter
rock one to three metres deep in a                                                        By the end of October 2002, the
                                          response was jointly developed by a
single day. Much of the central admin-                                               joint intervention had assisted 11,307
                                          group of INGO, UN and local NGO
istrative and commercial district was                                                families and plans were made to help a
                                          representatives to provide a transition-
damaged, affecting the capacity of the                                               further 1,318. Those assisted included
                                          al shelter to families (who met certain
local authorities to respond.                                                        all of the families who had occupied the
                                          criteria) once they had negotiated a
                                                                                     collective sites within the town itself,
    Some of the 87,000 people             new plot to build on within the town
                                                                                     and families who had been ‘hosted’ by
displaced sought temporary refuge         itself. This plot was either bought,
in communal buildings, while others       rented or donated by relatives. This
moved in with relatives whose houses      kept the economic activity within the
had not been affected. In this way,       town, used the existing infrastructure        Families in collective sites (such as
all found some form of immediate,                                                    schools) were prioritised as local au-
temporary shelter themselves without      resettling somewhere where they            thorities wished to reopen the schools
direct international agency assistance.   wanted to be.                              as soon as possible. The remaining

A.1                  D.R. Congo - Goma - 2002 - Volcano - Distribution and technical support                                                            Africa

                                                                                 The transitional shelters measured                                           -
                                                                               5m x 4.8m, provided 24m2 of covered        ened the frame with bush sticks.

                                                      Photo: Graham Saunders
                                                                                                                          Although the potential environmen-
                                                                               followed Sphere minimum standards.         tal damage of this activity was not
                                                                                                                          measured, alternative materials could
                                                                               available timber sizes, in order to        have been considered at the start of
                                                                               maximise section spans and minimize        the project.
                                                                               wastage from cutting. The tradition-
                                                                                                                             Each assisted family was also
                                                                               al use of volcanic rock for walls was
                                                                                                                          provided with a latrine, improving
    Structural skeleton of a house, showing                                                                               Goma’s pre-eruption sanitation.
                               cross-bracing                                   and size correctly, and too expensive
funds were allocated on a neighbour-                                           to transport.

                                                                                                                                                               Photo: Graham Saunders
hood-by-neighbourhood basis, based                                                 The unit was designed for robust-
on the proportion of families affected                                         ness, without the need for cast foun-
by the eruption.                                                               dations, so it could be dismantled and
   A household in a neighbourhood
could make an application for assist-                                          instead encouraged to build up foun-
ance once they could prove they had                                            dations with rocks and earth in order
negotiated a new plot of land for re-                                          to reduce surface water inside the
through discussion with neighbours                                                The roofs were covered with cor-
and local authorities.                                                         rugated zinc sheets, which, despite        Logistics and materials
   Final selection was overseen by                                             their high cost and solar gain, were            Materials were sourced locally
a Local Advisory Group made up of                                              locally known for their ease of use.       where possible. A joint agreement
community representatives and an                                                  As the budget did not stretch to        between agencies to share supplier
agency staff member, following jointly-                                        timber-clad walls, the design had to       lists and agree on the materials to be
agreed upon criteria. Decisions and                                            be braced well enough to stand un-         provided reduced inter-agency compe-
details of complaint processes were
published on a notice board.                                                   with plastic sheeting held in place with      The possibility of setting up a local
   Prior ownership of a property was                                           timber laths and protected from the        timber mill was considered but not
not made a requirement for assist-                                             weather by the overhang of the roof.       implemented. Lack of capacity at the
ance, in order to ensure that people                                               Households normally divided their      local mills meant that some timber was
who were renting before the eruption                                           houses into separate rooms, so the         procured from outside of Goma.
were also able to obtain a transitional                                        transitional shelter was designed to
shelter.                                                                       allow families to partition the space          By October, many had made im-
Technical solutions                                                            using their own materials or plastic       provements to their homes, often using
    Although other emergency shelter                                           sheeting provided by agencies.             salvaged corrugated metal sheeting or
solutions, such as tents, could have                                                                                      timber cladding to replace the plastic
been deployed, these were rejected
                                                                               ‘Goma’s recovery was                       sheet walls. However, around 30% of
as they could not have been updated
                                                                               dependent largely on                       the families felt they could not afford
for permanent use. The transitional
                                                                               economic regeneration.                     to make these upgrades and would
shelters cost just US$ 55 more than a
                                                                               By concentrating the                       be living in the transitional shelter as
standard relief tent and took longer to
                                                                               activities within the town                 provided for some time.
deploy, but provided a stepping stone
                                                                               itself, this project consid-
to permanent reconstruction.
                                                                               ered the sustainability of                                                                 -
                                                                               regeneration’. - Donor
                                                                                                                          example, one family paid a contractor
                                                                               Environment                                to build a kiosk into one end of the
                                                                                                                          house in order to run a small business
                                           Photo: Graham Saunders

                                                                                                                          to raise money for new furniture.
                                                                               timber from fast-growing eucalyp-          Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
                                                                                                                             This shelter programme was im-
                                                                               a number of different sources to           plemented alongside a DRR project to
                                                                               minimise potential local deforestation.    support the Goma Volcano Observa-
                                                                                                                          tory’s hazard monitoring and a com-
                                                                                                                          munity-based early warning system.

Families were trained to construct their shel-
 ters, but around 70% hired others to build.

A.2                                                                                                                                          Africa

                                                            Photo: Joseph Ashmore

                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Joseph Ashmore
                      Traditional hudno house with earthen roof                     Over 60,000 people were living in tent camps six years

Situation before emergency                 Technical solutions                                                     In 2002, the organisation began the
   Eritrea is one of the poorest
countries in the world, with more than     were temporary and that the displaced                                                                               -
                                           population would be returning home

                                           meant that organisations were dis-
mainly in soil-block homes, in stone-

roofs or in lighter-weight thatched        diplomatic resolution of the border
                                           demarcation and the need to properly

                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Joseph Ash-
                                           demine return areas meant that ten
   After Eritrea’s independence from
                                           years after their initial displacement
Ethiopia in 1993 the border between
                                           some IDPs remained in camps and
1998 the dispute escalated into war,
displacing thousands from their homes          Tents and plastic sheeting formed

                                           to the short lifespan of such materials,
After the emergency                                                                                                                                                 -
                                           many tents that had rotted, blown
of people left the disputed border
                                               There were trials with other
                                                                                                                   Distributions of shelter items were
including about 20 designated camps,
were formed in the states of Gash-
                                                                                                                ernmental Eritrean Relief and Refugee
were intended to be temporary and          and around Barentu, in the Gash-Bar-
to house no more than 20,000 people
                                                                                                                tents in 2000 when the total popula-
family members or rented accom-                                                                                 tion in camps reached around 150,000
                                           more traditional shelter material, but                               people, all camp residents were

   By June 2000 as many as 1 million       much longer than expected, addi-
                                                                                                                ment tents were required between
people were displaced within Eritrea,      tional pressure was placed on natural
                                                                                                                of basic emergency shelter items
that year to around 200,000 people in      host community were soon competing
                                                                                                                was enough to rehouse nearly half of
                                                                                                                the total camp population of around
    Six years after the outbreak of the                                                                                                              -
                                                                                                                ties of plastic tarpaulins were also
                                                                                                                distributed, although as some of these
from disputed border areas, from the                                                                            were distributed to returnees an exact
                                                                                        Photo: Joseph Ashmore

Ethiopian side of the border or had

                                                                                                                   The table shows the distribution
    Ten years after the outbreak
                                                                                                                and other NGOs were also supporting
                                                                                                                IDPs with emergency shelter items in
                                                                                                                the early period of displacement, but
                                                                                                                by 2002 the agency was responsible for

Africa                                                                   Shelter Projects 2008                                                                        A.2

Year Number     Tents            Plastic
                                                                  uses and to decrease the footprint                                   Though the high consumption of
     of IDPs distributed       tarpaulins
                                                                                                                                   wood and the impossibility of trans-
                                                                  meant that the wall height shrunk to                             porting stone ruled out hudno con-
1999    30,000    4,207       2,000
                                                                  around 30cm, reducing the internal                               struction in the camps, many people
2000    150,000   15,254                                                                                                           adapted their temporary shelters to
2001    65,000                                                                                                                     look and act more like the homes from

                                                                                                           Photo: Joseph Ashmore
2002    63,000
2003    63,000    3,406       11,471                                                                                               residents in Gash-Barka made the
2004    63,000    6           20,547
2005    46,500                                                                                                                        Structure: IDPs extended the height
                              5,000 to
                                                                                                                                   building large wooden frames and
2007 10,000                                                            People upgraded their tents using local

                              30,000 to                                                                                               The wooden frame was construct-
                                                                  b) Quality of materials
Total                                                                 Weather conditions in this part of                           The logs were cut down locally or
                  of 22,873   34,018                              Eritrea included extreme heat during
                                                                  the day, cold at night, considerable dust
                                                                                                                                   in the use of timber, consuming around
                                                                  materials distributed were of the right                          200kg of wood for a family shelter with
                                          Photo: Joseph Ashmore

                                                                                                                                   plastic sheeting, grain sacks and straw

                                                                  from emergency stocks, some ordered                              For those IDPs who did not possess
                                                                                                                                   a tent, plastic sheeting was used as
                                                                  samples could be torn by hand after

         People adapted their tents in many                       ripped in the wind, partly due to poor

                                                                                                                                      Walls: External walls were made of
Adaptations by IDPs
  An assessment made in 2002                                         Many of the camp residents in the
                                                                                                                                   the shelters, a ‘wall’ around 20cm high
                                                                                                                                   was built up around the edge using
their shelters for two main reasons:
                                                                  kept interiors cool during the hot day                           used as benches or beds and also

                                                                     The roof of a hudno uses a lot of                                Partitions: Partitioned interior space
a) Space

                                                                  The walls are generally made of stone,                           created separate areas for storing
only 16m2

some IDPs managed to increase their
                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Joseph Ashmore


and to also ensure that they could
stand up in them, something only

   While a standard ridge tent may

erected with long guy ropes, tents in
the camp were pitched with shorter

Africa                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                     A.3

                                                                                                                               Photo: Joana Cameira
                                                                               Village constructed through community-based project

                                                                                                                               Photo: Joana Cameira
                                                                                                                  Brick production
Situation before emergency                 After the emergency                             It was decided that the agency would
   Three refugee camps (Ifo, Hagadera                                                  follow the idea of previous shelter pro-
and Dagahaley) sheltering mainly           destroyed over 2,000 shelters and left      grammes in building mud-brick houses,
Somali refugees were established close                                                 but would improve the durability of the
to the town of Dadaab, in Northern         This meant that many refugees had to        design, increase the involvement of the
                                           move to a new camp neighbourhood,           communities and reduce the need to
had a population of around 173,000
                                              Section N was not a popular choice          The aims of the programme and
    Dadaab is an area with little veg-                                                 the implementation of the strategy
etation and refugees’ access to natural    ground was higher and less affected by      were explained to camp leaders who
resources (including building materials)
                                           the market and its lack of trees meant      community mobilisers (agency staff
does not encourage activities that are                                                 who were based in the blocks for eight
‘permanent’, so refugees rely on aid                                                   hours per day) ensured that the right
agency support rather than self-suf-

                                           by a UN agency, following standard             A public demonstration of ‘brick
                                                                                       throwing’ to test the strength of bricks
   The camps are highly congested,                                                     made from different soils ignited the

                                           Implementation                              addressed the fears of mud-brick
in the camp are of two types, both             The agency faced two main chal-                                             -
                                           lenges: convincing refugees that            structed some prototype shelters that
                                           Section N could become a nice place         were then used as classrooms for the
diameter dome structures made of           to live and that improved mud-brick
wooden sticks, covered in fabric; and      constructions would be stronger than
                                           the previous buildings that the refugees        The agency then provided a ‘training
adobe huts – 6m x 3m shelters using a
                                                                                       of trainers’ to a small group of refugees
large number of sticks for walls with a
                                                                                       on construction techniques and brick-

A.3                          Kenya - 2007- Flooding - Shelter and disaster mitigation                                     Africa

that training teams included women
vised around four families per month,

                                                                                                                                 Photo: Joana Cameira
assisting them with layout, foundations,

deployed to give technical support on       ‘I used to live in a bush
                                            house. It was not really a
                          -                 house. It is better here’. –
lowed me to support my                      Elderly refugee
family’. – Female refugee
construction trainer                                                                                              Completed house
                                           mortar or cow dung and the roof was       next stages of the implementation
   Soil-sourcing sites, both within and
                                                                                -    strategy, to increase the supply at lower
                                           ments were made to ventilation to
the agency, which also supplied brick
                                           decrease the high internal temperature
moulds, pangas (knives), wheelbarrows                                                Logistics and materials
and plastic sheeting to cover completed                                                  Families originally used soil from
                                              A change in the position of the        planned and unplanned areas within
shared among the community groups          house on the plot improved sanita-
and returned to the agency when not                                                  pits outside the camp presented an op-
                                           of the plot next to the street and the
                                           house was positioned at the back of the
                                                                                        To reduce the water consumption
    Agency staff maintained quality-                                                 necessary for brick production, ‘spilled
                                           tion inside the plot and prevented the
control checks on all the constructions
                                           problems of a dirty backyard blocked
to ensure the safety of the houses, par-                                             The rest of the water was supplied by
ticularly as previous mud brick failures                                             truck and stored in oil drums distribut-
had been mostly due to poor con-                                                     ed around Section N or in water tanks
                                                                                     if the bricks were being produced
    Upon completion of the mud-brick
structures, the agency supplied the        These included:
                                    -                                                procured in the capital with support
ciaries could not produce or purchase                                                from a UN agency, while other
                                           Sometimes they were partially closed      materials were procured in the nearest
                                           with other bricks or sticks to increase
    The combination of a team of           security and reduce sunlight but
                                                                                         The total cost of materials, including
trainers able to transfer skills to the                                              transport, was around US$ 440 if the
                                              Furniture:      Some       families
                                                                                     soil was sourced within the camp,
to participate in the construction of      constructed beds and tables out of the
                                                                                     rising to US$ 480 if soil was sourced
their own shelter at no cost led to        mud bricks, which helped to demarcate
full engagement of the community and
guaranteed that people would maintain
                                           the extent of a plot were often built                 Quantity                 Unit
                                                                                      Iron sheets (2.5m length)      20 pieces
Technical solutions                            Plastering: Some families plastered
                                                                                      Timber - cypress (2mx2m)       120 m
   The 6m x 3m houses required             their house with cement mix, making
1,700 bricks, considerably more than                                                  Plain sheet (2.4m x 1.2m)      1 piece
previous designs implemented in               Gutters were made out of waste          Nails 4"                       4 kg
                                                                                      Nails 3"                       1 kg
was primarily achieved by relocat-             Livelihoods: Market stalls were
                                                                                      Nails 1"                       0.5 kg
ing refugees to the higher ground of       built as extensions onto or between
Section N, extra bricks were necessary     houses, increasing the income of the                                      5 kg
to build a thick foundation and lower      families and providing more options        Butt hinges 4"                 3 pieces
wall to improve the structure’s per-                                                  Padbolt 6"                     1 piece
                                                                                      Tower bolt                     1 piece
                                           employed other refugees at some stage
                                                                                      GI Ridges (1.8m length)        4 pieces
the walls and roof trusses, increas-                                                  Binding wire                   5 kg
                                           the income generated in the housing
                                                                                      Wood preservative              8l
Mud-brick walls were plastered with
                                           inspired the agency to look into the

A.4                      Kenya - 2007-2008 - Election violence - Transitional shelter kits                                   Africa
Strengths and weaknesses (continued)
 promoted sustainable return.                                     roofs and doors had been looted.
    Occupancy was not as high as hoped for, with some                The kit included spare sheets and plastic sheeting for
 IDPs not ready to move back.                                     the construction of latrines. These materials were often
                                                                  used to extend the roof instead.
 quantities. Sourcing of materials needs to be reconsidered
 before the project can be upscaled.                              preferred to have been given the cash value of the plastic
    Only those whose houses had been completely                   so that they could buy local materials themselves to build
 destroyed received the kit. Further attention needs to be        the walls (cash grants are being considered for the post-
 given to those whose houses are partly damaged, as many          pilot phase).

                                                                                                                                    Photo: Mark Lawler
                                                                                     Transitional shelter built on the family’s own land

Situation before emergency
   A number of the tensions related to          The Shelter Cluster agreed that
                                            481 transitional shelter kits would be       committee was established by the
in Kenya, unresolved land issues, in-       distributed as a pilot project to test the   local administration, with appropriate
equality of wealth distribution, high un-   design of the shelter and the response       representation of women and IDPs,

resources led to violence following the                                                  committee was monitored by the im-
                                               It was important that the site
December 2007 election.                                                                  plementing agency.
                                            chosen should be one where security
   The majority of those displaced          was good, IDPs were willing to return           The degree of vulnerability of the
from the Rift Valley province had lived     to and the community they were               households was also assessed and was
in small timber pole-framed houses          returning to was ready to accept them.
with timber or adobe wall cladding,
thatch or iron-sheet roofs and              the requirements.                            number of shelters to be provided
                                                                                         almost matched the number of houses
                                               The local administration had a
with dung or cement.                                                                     completely destroyed, vulnerability
                                            record of all IDPs. Their assessment of
                                                                                         criteria was used to determine the level
After the emergency                         the impact of the violence, correlated
                                                                                         of construction assistance a household
   The election crisis was compound-        with the agency’s own assessment,
                                                                                         required, rather than to select the ben-
ed in April by food security problems,      showed that around 500 houses had
                                            been completely destroyed.
the north. The pattern of displacement                                                      To qualify for construction assist-
                                               The following criteria were used
was complex. People were displaced                                                       ance, the household had to be headed
                                            to decide which of the 500 house-
from many different parts of the                                                         by a single parent or a child or have
                                            holds who had no shelter to return to
country as one ethnic group escaped                                                      members who were elderly, disabled
                                            would be chosen to receive a kit. The
the threat of violence from another.                                                     or had special health requirements.
    Around half of IDPs found shelter                                                         The criteria for the upscaled
                                                were registered as an IDP by the
in camps. The rest sought refuge with
                                            local administration;
friends or relatives and some moved                                                      Cluster’s Transitional Shelter Strategy
                                                were willing and ready to return;
back to their ‘ancestral’ land where                                                     developed in March 2008, following
                                                had proof of land ownership.
support services were limited.                                                           feedback from the pilot project.
   A response plan was developed               Proof of land ownership was only          Implementation
through the Cluster System, which           required for this pilot project. It              A prototype of the shelter was
would provide non-food items and            was anticipated that an appropriate          tested for structural quality and
tents to meet the need for emergency        response would later be developed by         reviewed by IDPs for its suitability. At
shelter while a transitional shelter        the Shelter Cluster to deal with those
design was developed to bridge the          without formal titles to their property
emergency and permanent shelter             or whose houses were only partially          prototype was built in a prominent
phases.                                     damaged.

Africa                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                           A.4

location in Mtaragon to sensitize bene-    ground at a depth of around 60cm. The                 Materials                Quantity
                                           poles supported a timber ring beam,
and to get feedback on the design.         which in turn supported the timber
                                           rafters onto which an iron sheet was          Cedar posts                     14 units
    Local craftsmen and unskilled                                                        9', 4" diameter
labourers were recruited into ten                                                        Walling-polythene sheeting-     45 m2
teams and trained. Although not               Walls were clad in plastic sheeting        1000g
planned, the teams were a 50-50 mix                                                      Cypres timber 2x3",             20 m
                                                                                         6 x 2m, 3 x 2m
the ethnic group that they felt threat-    and weighted with timber battens.             Ordinary nails 4"               2 kg
ened by. This side effect of the project      The design was based on the ver-                               Roof
had a positive impact on peacebuild-       nacular housing typically lived in by         Cypess timber 2x3",             40 m
ing. The donor organisation directly       IDPs prior to their displacement.             2 x 10m, 3 x 3m, 1 x 8m
procured the materials within Kenya        This enabled IDPs to upgrade their            Cypes timber 2x2"               41 m
and delivered them to the implement-       shelters incrementally using materials        6.5 x 6m
ing agency’s warehouse in Nakuru.          and methods that they were already            CGI ridge covers-30g -1.5 m     4 units
    The implementing agency then           familiar with. The walls could be clad        CGI sheets-30g                  20 units
distributed the materials at three         with timber, adobe or even brick and          2 x 0.9m
                                           cement. Cement could be used to               Ordinary nails, 2kg 4", 2kg     4.5 kg
and took them to their plots up to                                                       3", ½kg 2"
three kilometres away, using their own         The use of plastic sheeting allowed                                       4 kg
transportation (either by hand, by         shelters to be built and occupied             Iron hoop                       1 kg
donkey, or by tractor and trailer).                                               -                          Tools
   The kits also included the basic        ies replaced the plastic sheeting walls
                                                                                         Stanely claw hammer             1 unit
tools necessary to build the shelter.      immediately with adobe or reclaimed
                                           building parts, such as doors or timber.      Stanley woodcutting saw         1 unit
                                           The plastic sheeting could then be sold       Panga knife                     1 unit
                                           or used for temporary house exten-            Hoe and handle                  1 unit
                                           sions, and provided waterproof storage        Manaila thread 30m (roll)       1 unit
                                           for seeds and fertilisers.
                                                                                         Measuring tape                  1 unit
                                              The use of regular frame and
                                           roof sections made the construction
                                           modular – it could be easily extended
can be assisted in the                     or adapted. The choice of materials           ‘The prototypes built by
way I was, that would                      meant that there was no part of the          local craftsmen in each
                                                                                        project location enabled
                                           replaced locally.                            structures to be tested and
                                                                                        important feedback from
                    -                      shelters on exactly the same site as
                                           their previous homes had been, so            to be incorporated into
    Guidance was given by the local        little site clearance or ground levelling                       –
craftsmen on how to put the shelter        was required.                                Engineering coordinator
                                           Logistics and materials
the labour themselves and the houses
                                               Materials were sourced in Kenya,
were normally completed within one
                                           and chosen for their familiarity, durabil-
or two days.
                                           ity and low cost. Timber was supplied
                                           by private forestries who were only
                                           considered if they had government-
to have their houses built by the con-     approved replanting projects in place.
struction teams.                           Plastic sheeting was made from recycled
                                                                                                                                    Photo: Dyfed Aubrey

                                           plastic. The total cost of materials and
Technical solutions
                                           labour for one transitional shelter was
    The structure had a covered space
of 18m2 (6m x 3m), was split into two
                                           agency administrative costs.
rooms, and had good clearance above
head height.
   The frame was made up of 10cm
diameter cedar poles, dug into the                                                                                     Transportation

Africa                                          Shelter Projects 2008                                                 A.5
Strengths and weaknesses (continued)
 - The project ran alongside water and sanitation and         could be more clearly seen.
 education programs, which was necessary to ensure that          Maintenance issues could have been considered further,
 people had access to the services they needed in order to
 resettle.                                                    walls.
 -                                                               Technical supervision could have been more intensive
 appeared to inspire other returnees to begin rebuilding      from the beginning, as some construction work had to be
 spontaneously, as it created a positive atmosphere of
 recovery.                                                       Donor-driven partnerships with community-based
 - The project was better suited to a rural context than an   organisations from previous projects had to be dropped
 urban one, as community mobilisation was much easier in      due to corruption and a lack of community involvement.

Situation before emergency
   After years of civil war, many of     assistance did not extend beyond the
Liberia’s 3 million inhabitants had      standard repatriation package (sleeping    selection, were prepared and signed by
been displaced within or outside         mat, blanket, cooking kit, food and
of the country. Between 2004 and         transportation) issued in the return-      agency representatives.
2007, 327,000 IDPs were assisted in a    transit camp.
returns process, leaving an estimated
                                                                                    Technical solutions
                                                                                        The traditional house design is a
                                             Using the opportunity of a routine     bush pole-framed, mud-walled con-
refugees returned at the same time.
                                         check of returnee names, the agency        struction with a thatched roof of grass
                                         made notes of those living in over-        or palm leaves. The project improved
remain outside of Liberia, making the
                                         crowded shelters and poor conditions       the design to include a corrugated
                                         before communities were aware of a         iron roof, which reduced the need to
a million.
                                         proposed shelter programme. This           maintain a thatch roof, and a stronger
   It is estimated that the number of    eliminated the temptation for people       central pole to improve structural
people living on less than one dollar    to temporarily overcrowd their             stability.
                                         shelters on assessment day. By corre-          Many local houses do not have
in 2007. As well, the sanitation and     lating this information with a joint UN/   closable doors and windows, and
                                         NGO monitoring project to establish                                        -
had seriously deteriorated by 2004.      vulnerability categories (including        ly repaired after damage from the
                                         female-headed households, unaccom-
After the emergency
                                         panied minors, the chronically ill and     were unlikely to be able to undertake
    The vast majority of returnees did
                                         physically disabled) the agency was        much maintenance themselves, doors
not have appropriate shelter when
                                         able to draw up a shortlist of potential   and windows were included in the
they returned, due to their houses
being destroyed or simply deteriorat-                                               build.
ing during the two civil wars.                                                 -
    In rural forested areas, building
                                         ciaries was carried out by the agency,     ‘I now have a good place
traditional shelters required families
                                         in collaboration with local authori-       to stay, and my family
to collect materials and provide the
                                         ties and community representatives,        will come to stay with me
labour to rebuild. While some support
                                         after several visits and open meetings.    in my new home’.
was provided for rebuilding (such as
                                         Three-way Memorandums of Under-            –
                                         standing, describing the assistance
this project), most returnees’ shelter

A.5                               Liberia- 2007- IDPs, refugees - Self-build shelters                                              Africa

                                                                                                     areas and small communities, where
                                                                                                     there was no pressure on land. In
                                                                                                     more densely populated communities
                                            ‘The project was a suc-                                  (though not urban) land had a price. In
                                           cess because we were                                      these areas the NGO had to check the
                                           accountable, delivered                                    site selection as there was a tempta-
                                           what we said we would                                     tion to allocate land to vulnerable ben-
                                           deliver and had constant
                                           discussion with the com-                                  building. This was solved through joint
                                           munities themselves. The                                  meetings with the local authorities and
                                           communities understood                                    community representatives.
                                           that supporting vulnera-                                  Logistics and materials
                                                                                                         Materials were collected locally,
                                           to everyone’.                                             apart from doors and windows. It

                                                                                 Photo: John Flomo
                                                                                                     was not thought that environmental
                                                                                                     damage would be caused by local col-
                                                                                                     lection. The total cost of materials for
                                                                                                     each shelter was US$ 320 (US$ 240
                                                                                                     for imported materials, US$ 40 for
                                                                                                     local materials bought from communi-
                                                                                                     ties, and US$ 40 for labour provided by
   The doors and windows originally        and US$ 40 for the labour. This was                       the community).
produced by each local construction        not a salary, but an incentive. The
gang were found to be of inconsist-
ent size and quality, so it was decided    from the money; normally it was used
to prefabricate these components in        to pay for the food of those who
the NGO’s compound using skilled           provided labour.
workers.                                       The sum was large enough to be
Implementation                             an incentive to get people involved, but

selected and cooperation of the
community was agreed upon through a        materials was only paid once construc-
series of open meetings, a skilled local   tion up to the roof was completed.                                                Completed house
carpenter was chosen to lead the con-                                                                        Materials          Quantity
struction of between one and three         made upon occupancy rather than
houses. The carpenter would also act
                                                                                                      3" nails                 65 (0.3kg)
                                           when the structure was completed.
as a community mobiliser to organise                                                                  4" nails                 28 (0.3kg)
                                           This was a lesson learned from
people to collect materials and provide    previous projects, where payment had                       Hammer
labour for construction.                   been made upon structural comple-                                                   2 bundles
   Progress was monitored by one of        tion. The NGO was then unable to                           (0.66m x 2.4m)
                                           prevent occupancy of the structures                        Zinc nails
had construction knowledge and skills.
                                                                                                      Door and frame           2
The supervisors were managed by                Shelter supervisors marked out the
a shelter coordinator and a project                                                                   Window and frame         2
                                           agreed 25m2. A standard design was
director.                                  proposed for a two-room construc-                          Hinges                   4 pairs
   Supervisors were expected to visit      tion with a veranda. However, ben-                         Nails
                                                                                                      Hasp/staples             4 pairs
The coordinator usually visited sites      according to their needs. The NGO                          Window and door          4 pieces
four days a week. Such close and direct    felt it necessary to make further stipu-                   bolts
monitoring was a key reason for the        lations about central support poles, to
project’s success, as problems were        ensure that the building was safe once
                                           the project was underway.                                       Materials collected locally:
quality of building could be examined                                                                 Central pole
                                              The project was completed on
throughout the project. This enabled                                                                  Poles for frame
ongoing improvements to be made.                                                                      Rafters (poles)          50
                                           Land issues
   The NGO paid US$ 40 for the                The community allocated the land                        Bamboo/rope for          As required
materials collected to build the house     themselves. This was easy in rural                         ceiling mats

A.6                   Mozambique- 2007- Cyclone - Shelter material packages and training                                   Africa
Strengths and weaknesses (continued)
                                                                 required repetition of the messages.
for basic shelter needs for at least three weeks.                   Local suppliers were sometimes unable to meet
   Technical advice was not always implemented by the            deadlines. This resulted in the project requiring an
                                                                 extension. Delays were partly due to legal requirements
the construction may have been carried out by someone            for supplier registration and payment of taxes by suppliers.
else or they had not been convinced by the advice. This

                                                                                                                                  Photos: Lizzie Babister
                                                            A damaged house and self-built reconstructed house using distributed items
Situation before emergency
   Many of Mozambique’s inhabitants              Unable to respond with immediate             Five different shelter packages were
                                             emergency items, the organisa-               designed to be distributed depending
regularly hit by cyclones. As a result, it   tion decided to run a rehabilitation         on the type of home the household
has repeatedly required disaster-recov-      programme, distributing materials            had previously had – traditional round
ery assistance.                              for the repair or rebuilding of houses       houses or rectangular ‘mixed’ houses
                                             belonging to vulnerable households.          built from a mix of traditional and
After the emergency
                                             The agency participated in the national      modern materials – and the level of
    Over 300,000 people were directly
                                             Shelter Cluster meetings and received        damage suffered.
affected by the combined effects of the
                                             a donation of plastic sheeting. This was
                                                                                          Technical solutions
                                             included as part of the general distri-
of the displaced sought shelter in                                                           Training in simple construction
communal accommodation, which had                                                         techniques to improve the durability
been pre-positioned after the 2001                                                        of structures in the event of further
                                                The agency supported vulner-
moving to ‘resettlement areas’ – part                                                     on the day of distribution.
of the government’s programme to             Inhassoro and Govuro. These included
                                                                                              Agency staff demonstrated the use
encourage people to resettle on higher       women-headed households, children,
                                                                                          of improved building techniques on a
ground. Others stayed on their own           the elderly, the disabled or the chroni-
                                                                                          lived-in house in the village of distri-
land, rebuilding where possible.             cally ill, and those without resources
                                                                                          bution. Techniques included advice on
                                             to rebuild a home that had been com-
     The government conducted an
                                             pletely destroyed.
initial needs assessment and three                                                        and using wire doubly crossed over in
international agencies were made re-            An initial target was set of 1,300        an x-shape to strengthen joints.
sponsible for delivering the three main      households (around 6,600 people) who
                                                                                              The demonstration lasted a couple
needs of water, food and shelter.            had remained on their own land but
                                                                                          of hours and was made before the
                                             had inadequate shelter. This rose to
    The international organisation in                                                     materials were distributed. A later as-
                                             2,219 vulnerable households (11,095
this case study had limited local experi-                                                 sessment showed that while many had
                                             people) following additional funding.
ence of emergency shelter response, as                                                    implemented the techniques, others
it was mostly involved in development           Assessments of the shelter needs          had not, despite being present at the
projects and non-shelter emergency           of each of the vulnerable households         training. It is not clear if these tech-
responses. With no stockpiles and no         were made in partnership with the            niques were not implemented due to
immediate funding, the agency was not                                                                                            -
able to respond with an emergency            were checked and double-checked by           menting the training.
                                             the agency and local authorities.
                                                                                              Hammers and pliers were distrib-
two weeks.
                                                 A simple assessment form was
    The majority of those affected           developed, illustrated with simple           entire homes had been destroyed.
in the area of the agency’s operation        graphics, to enable teams to quickly
found shelter with relatives. Many had       classify what kind of shelter kit a
rebuilt their own shelters within the        household would require (see table at
                                             the end of this case study).

Africa                                                                          Shelter Projects 2008                                                                                                A.6

Implementation                                                                                 -                                                                      Although the distribution of items
    The project began in mid-March                        ciaries’ identities were cross-checked                                                                  was successful, the organisation over-
after a delay in securing funding. The                    by the agency and authorities. They                                                                     estimated the level of social cohesion.
time during the delay was used to                         were given the voucher, information                                                                     This was a surprise, as their usual work
make thorough assessments. By the                         on what time to attend the distribu-                                                                    with local associations suggested the
                                                          tion, and informed that only one other                                                                  existence of a reasonably community-
many people who had the resources                         family member should be with them.                                                                      minded attitude among the population
had already rebuilt. The distribution                                                                                                                             that would help those most vulnerable.
                                                              The voucher system, coupled with
including a one-month extension that
                                                          effective cooperation between the                                                                       ‘We did not consider all
                                                          organisation and the local authori-                                                                     the aspects of construc-
procuring locally.
                                                          ties, meant that distributions were                                                                     tion in terms of labour for
                                                          conducted smoothly. However, the                                                                        the extremely vulnerable
    The shelter items were distributed                    preparation of the vouchers them-                                                                       and we learned a lot from
using a voucher system that detailed                      selves, to avoid counterfeiting, added                                                                  this project. In Cyclone
what kind of shelter package would                        to the preparation time.                                                                                Jokwe in 2008, we applied
be received. The voucher system was
                                                              To further reduce crowd manage-                                                                     the lessons and we are
introduced in order to reduce the
                                                          ment issues at distribution, community                                                                  now a lot better prepared
                                                          mobilisers employed by the organi-                                                                      for the next disaster’.
lists, which the organisation had ex-
                                                          sation led crowds in song to reduce                                                                     – Project manager
perienced early on in the project. The
                                                          tensions and prevent potential overre-
voucher system also reduced the time
                                                          action by authorities, who were quick                                                                       An assessment three months after
                                                          to beat back crowds with sticks.                                                                        the distribution had been competed
day of distribution.
                                                                                                                                                                  showed that 15% of those who had
                                                                                                                                                                  received shelter materials had been
                                                                                                                                                                  unable to use them to rebuild their
                                                                                                                                                                  homes. The vulnerable households
                                                                                                     Purlins and rafters

                                                                                                                                              between families)
                                                             Metal wire (2kg)
                       Roof trusses (3)

                                                                                                                           Plastic sheeting
                                                                                   Wall poles (10)

                                                                                                                                                                  either did not have the money to pay
                                                                                                                                                Tools (shared
                                                                                                         (3 bundles)

                                                                                                                              (1 sheet)

                                                                                                                                                                  someone to rebuild their homes or

                                                                                                                                                                  did not have any relatives willing to do
                                                                                                                                                                  the rebuilding. With everyone strug-
                                                                                                                                                                  gling after the disaster it appears that
                                                                                                                                                                  people were too occupied with solving
                                                                                                                                                                  their own problems to assist others
                                          Mixed house (3m x 6m)                                                                                                   without additional support.
 Totally destroyed      Y                  Y      Y      Y      Y                                                                                  Y
                                                                                                                                                                     Although it was recommended that

                                                                                                                                                                  thatch, attach plastic sheeting under-
                                                                                                                                                                  neath and then re-thatch the roof, many
 Roof missing           Y                  Y          Y      Y                                                                                                    people had simply spread the plastic
                                                                                                                                                                  sheeting over the roof as they did not

                                                                                                                                                                  very physical task. Consequently, plastic

                                            Traditional house                                                                                                     and tore easily.
 Totally destroyed                                           Y                     Y                       Y                    Y                  Y
                                                                                                                                                                  Logistics and materials
                                                                                                                                                                      All materials were purchased
                                                                                                                                                                  locally, though the ability to guarantee
                                                                                                                                                                  the sustainable management of the
                                                                                                                                                                  forests from which the poles were
  No roof covering                                           Y                                                                  Y                                 cut was limited. The use of alterna-
                                                                                                                                                                  tive materials was not pursued due to
                                                                                                                                                                  transporting issues and the potential
                                                                                                                                                                  for further delays.
                                                                                                                                                                      Due to a shortage in dry grass,
 No roof structure                                           Y                                             Y                    Y
                                                                                                                                                                  plastic sheeting was distributed as a

                                                                                                                                                                  locally available materials delayed the
                                                                                                                                                                  implementation of the project.

A.7               Rwanda - 2008 - Returns - Materials distribution and technical guidance                                                            Africa

 A.7            Rwanda - 2008 - Returns
Materials distribution and technical guidance
 Project type:
      Community mobilisation
      Establishment of beneficiary associations
      Technical guidance
      Materials distribution
      Forced repatriation of people of ‘Rwandan origin’ from
      Tanzania to Rwanda
 No. of people displaced:
      Approximately 60,000 people considered to be illegal
      immigrants in Tanzania were required to return
      to Rwanda. 8,000 people had been forced to return

      by June 2007.
 Project target population:
      469 households
 Occupancy rate on handover:
      All 220 shelters completed by August 2008 were occupied.
 Shelter size
      48 m2 (6m x 8m)

         This project provided support to people of Rwandan origin expelled from Tanzania by providing
 materials for house building, masons and providing shared services at the site of return. Communities
 were mobilised by forming beneficiary associations in consultation with the local government. The
 role of the associations was to collectivise the tasks required for house building.

 Project timeline                                                                                                                            s   s
                                                 6                 6               6                  hs               hs                  th th
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                                             20                20           20 v 2 on             on               on
           94              96           ar                ay              y       m           m                m                       m
         19           19            M                    M             Jul No 1           6                8                         12 14
                       I            I                I                 I     I    I           I                I                     I    I
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 18 pha dan nme
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   int n
   sid b

    fug fr

    5,0 re Ta

     co as
     ,00 se an nt

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     nz m

     st an er


       cla of pel
       an Rw

         en e e


         nd e b
          00 tur nza

          0 be d al
          da an

          ra R led


            re gi

             tio wa

             ph eg
              Rw ne nia

               tu ns

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                as ins
                n: nd

                 an d to
                  no s fl


                   all an

                     cid ee






 Strengths and weaknesses
    By collectivising activities in mixed beneficiary
 associations, shelter was built for all members of the                       Some houses were quickly attacked by termites as
 community without requiring a different construction                      timbers had not been treated or protected.
 process for vulnerable households.                                           People had to resolve their current shelter problems as
    Participation of vulnerable beneficiaries in the                        best they could until their house was completed. For some
 construction process was possible and necessary.                          families this meant living in makeshift shelters for nearly
    Integration of returnee families and local families in                 two years.
 one resettlement site meant that the association approach
 increased opportunities for integration.

Africa                                          Shelter Projects 2008                                                            A.7

                                                                                                                          Photo: Matthias Wohlfeil
                                                                                                              Completed shelters
Situation before emergency
   Despite a long history of welcoming   through a transit centre in Kiyanzi, in       solidarity among the returnees and
Rwandan refugees, the Government         the Kirehe District of Rwanda, where          the local families that had moved to
of Tanzania decided in March 2006 to     they would wait before being allocated        the new villages, and to support the
expel people of ‘Rwandan origin’ who     land in the east of the country by the        returnees in providing for themselves.
had arrived in Tanzania at any time      government.                                        Both returnees and local families
from the 1920s onwards and who did                                                     living in the resettlement sites were
                                            The Rwandan government identi-
not have legal permission to stay.
   Four categories of illegal immi-      including Rugeyo and Ndego. Joining           project, with all households requiring
                                         208 returnee families in Ndego were           shelter. Vulnerability criteria were used
1920s, 1959 refugees, 1994 refugees      156 poor households from the sur-             to decide which houses would be built
and those that had arrived from          rounding area, which the Rwandan gov-
2005 onwards. Most of these people       ernment hoped would help with inte-           Implementation
lived in the Kagera region of north      gration in establishing the new ‘villages’.                                          -
Tanzania (which borders Rwanda) and      In Rugeyo, 105 returnee households            tablished by the agency in collabora-
many did not speak Kinyarwanda, the      were settled on their own.                    tion with local authorities. The associ-
primary language of Rwanda. Only a
                                             Although each household was
                                         allocated its own plot of land, the re-       families formed to collectivise the
criteria lived in the refugee camp in                                                  tasks required for house building. Peer
                                         settlement sites lacked both water and
the region. The vast majority were in-                                                 pressure within the group helped to
                                         sanitation. In cooperation with the
tegrated into the local Tanzanian com-                                                 ensure that tasks got done.
                                         local district authorities, the project
                                         agency provided accommodation and                 The formation of associations was
    Forced returns began in May 2006     latrines to 469 families in the Rugeyo        accompanied by an intense community
and many of those forced to return       and Ndego resettlement sites.                 mobilisation campaign. Representatives
experienced violence in some form                                                      of local authorities and community
and had their property seized. Many                                                    leaders conducted meetings with all
                                         their houses, they lived in temporary,
returnees, the majority of whom were
                                         makeshift mud huts with roofs made of
women and children, arrived in Rwanda                                                  project and how the project would be
                                         plastic sheeting, which was distributed
empty-handed and without relatives to                                                  implemented.
                                         as part of a return package.
stay with.
After the emergency                         With returnees having to rebuild           which group they wanted to join as
   A return process was agreed to by     their livelihoods from scratch, the           long as each group had a mixed mem-
the Rwandan and Tanzanian govern-        project used the construction pro-            bership. Each group had to include
ments in July 2006. Returnees passed     grammes to create a sense of                  women and men, young and old people,

A.7                 Rwanda - 2008 - Returns - Materials distribution and technical guidance                             Africa

those of different physical abilities, as      The associations were supported          Logistics and materials
well as able people.                                                                        Some materials were transported
                                            questions and resolved problems.            directly to the site and distributed
    Each association produced the
                                                                                        to each plot. Other materials of high
necessary materials to build houses         Technical solution
                                                                                        value or requiring special storage were
for all the families in its group. They         After approval of the house design
                                                                                        stocked in a nearby warehouse and
produced the clay bricks needed             by the Ministry of Infrastructure, the
                                                                                        distributed on demand.
(1,800 for a house; 200 for a latrine),     building of houses was monitored by
dug latrines, de-barked timbers to be       the agency, with inspections made by
used for construction and cleared and       local authority representatives.            quality control of materials and were
levelled sites. Associations were regis-                                                responsible for ensuring the security of
                                                The design is based on local building
tered with the local authority and all                                                  the warehouse.
                                            traditions but with some upgrading,
work was unremunerated.
                                            such as cement plastering.                            Materials           Quantity
‘Nobody is vulnerable!                         Each house provides 48m of      2         I) Foundation
You can always give                         covered living space (6m x 8m) and has       Twine for setting out        2 balls
something to your com-                      four rooms and one corridor with two         Cement                       2.5 sacks
munity!’ -Slogan of the mobi-               doors. A foundation of hardcore, sand
                                                                                         Plastic sheeting for roof    0.2 roll
lisation teams in the returnee              and cement is laid for each house and
communities                                 the exterior of the mud-brick walls is       Hardcore                     10 m3
                                            coated in ‘rough-cast’ – a mixture of        Sand                         5m3
    Through the collectivisation of         cement and other materials to provide        II) Walls
tasks it was possible to build houses       protection against the weather.              Brick mould                  1 piece
for all members of the community.
This would not have been possible if           The roof is made of galvanised            Plastic sheeting for water   1 piece
families had worked alone. Materials                                                     Timber planks                5.5 pieces
that could not be produced were             sheets were used for the guttering.          Breeze blocks                8 pieces
provided: cement, foundation stones,            Each house is equipped with a            Poles for scaffolding        4 pieces
sand, construction wood, doors and          rainwater catchment system, storing          Mud bricks (20 x20x35 cm)    1800
windows, roof sheeting, as well as tools    up to 1.2 cubic metres of water. The
and other non-food items. Materials                                                      III) Roof
                                            system follows the local design and
were provided at the appropriate stage                                                   Poles for truss              26 pieces
                                            uses cement layers cast together over
of construction.                            a reed mould. Local technicians were         Nails 15cm                   3 kg
    Before house building began, the        hired to produce the mould and others        Nails 12cm                   3 kg
agency contracted skilled masons            to make the cement layers.                   Nails 10cm                   3 kg
to build latrines, each shared by two          To reduce the fuelwood used for           Nails 6cm                    2 kg
households. Once the latrines were          cooking, the agency has developed a                                       3 kg
completed and the necessary con-            stove design in collaboration with the                                    29 pieces
struction materials were produced,          Kigali Institute for Science and Technol-
house building could begin.                                                              Strip iron - for binding     18 pieces /
                                            ogy. The stove can be built out of local     joints                       1.5m each
    Although no other shelter               materials and has greatly improved fuel      IV) Exterior
materials were provided for the tran-                                                    Cement                       3 sacs
sitional period between arrival in the      natural resources from deforestation.
                                                                                         Doors                        2 pieces
new villages and construction of new        Planned shared services
houses, the agency supported initial                                                     Windows                      4 pieces
                                               In its third phase, the project is
livelihood recovery with a distribution                                                  V) Other
                                            now concentrating on the following
of seeds and food rations.                  shared services:                                                          2 pieces
   The construction of each house
was overseen by a skilled mason hired       centre to be shared with surround-
by the agency and paid a total of US$       ing villages. It is intended be a
                                            semi-open hangar accommodating up
Each household appointed one person         to 300 people with storage rooms
from the household to be an assistant       for materials and products of local
to the mason, who monitored the             workshops.
attendance and contribution of the
assistant. In return for providing their         A day centre for children whose
labour, the ‘assistants’ learned basic
construction skills as well as improving
their physical living conditions.           improve access to clean water.

A.8                                                                                                                         Africa

Strengths and weaknesses (continued)
                                                                    At times not all the humanitarian agencies involved

                                                                                                                                   Photos: Ombretta Tempra
                                                      Sites and services: the project focused on negotiating land and providing access,
                                                                                          secure compound walls, water and sanitation.
                                                                                  -      agency to improve livelihood oppor-
                                           ernance-related issues relating to land,
                                           and broader urban development and
nomadic/pastoralist inhabitants, has

Due to its relative stability, it has
become an attractive area for IDPs

                                           accepting the permanent resettlement                                                                    -
                                           provision of suitable land, began in
hood opportunities created by the fast-    to a joint UN strategy for IDPs in
developing port of Bossaso is a strong
                                                                                         in Puntland, customised ‘letters of
                                               Once a strategy for Bossaso had                                                 -
                                                                               -                                               -
   There is no land administration and     ian agencies and Bossaso authorities,         aries received the right of occupation,
                                           mented by a consortium of agencies,

Aim of the project                                                                       to provide the strongest protection for
   The idea of the permanent reset-
                                                                                         ciary, the mayor, the minister of local
improve IDP protection, security of
                                                                                         government and the magistrate of the
tenure, access to basic services and in-

                                           challenges of maintaining consensus
out rooms, space for shops or pro-                                           -

                                           Land issues
   Freeing IDPs from paying rent for          The original site proposed by the
                                                                                         the host community from exerting
could use resources for basic services,

Africa                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                         A.8

                                                                                                                                   Photo: J. Ashmore
                                                                          donated following requests for land made during Ramadan.

occupied their site, preferring instead                                                    The cost for the second phase

                                                                                       excluded agency staff costs and food-
occupancy rate on project completion
                                                                                       all other logistics, administrative and
    The selection process, managed
by the multi-representative Bossaso                                                    Logistics and materials
selection committee, began in
                                  -                                           -
                                           tlement for each family to construct
                                                                                       Bill of quantities

   Before selecting individual families,                                           -


                                           involved the construction of foun-
                                                                                                  Materials             Quantity
                                                                                        Hollow concrete blocks          281 pieces
                                                                                        (150 mm x 390 mm x 180
                                                                                        Cement for mortar and           5 bags
                                              The second phase began after              concrete ring beam
rejected due to the complexity of
                                                                                        Sand for mortar and concrete 1 tonne
                                                                                        ring beam
                                                                                        Aggregate / ballast for ring    0 tonnes
                                           families moved onto their plot, living in    beam concrete
                                                                                        Y8 bars (12m long) for ring     4 pieces
produced a list that excluded an ethnic                                                 R6 rings (6m long) for ring     2 pieces
                                                                                        6x1 white wood for form         12 metres
a lottery broadcast on local TV and
                                                                                        28-gauge galvanised             14 pieces
                                                                                -       corrugated iron sheets
                                           ies for the construction period, along       Structural grade 150 x 50       18 m
                                                                                        (6' x 2') timber roof rafters
‘Compared to the shelter                                                           -    Structural Grade 75 x 50        27 m
I had before, I can now                                                                 (3' x 2') timber roof purlins
say that my life has im-                                                                                                1 kg
proved 100 percent. The                    technical support in the form of cash
resettlement programme                                                                  Ordinary wire nails             1 kg
was completely transpar-                                                                Steel single doors
                                                                                        (0.8m x 2m)
                                                                                                                        1 set
ent and well done’.
                                              Giving the families the oppor-            Double leaf-steel window        1 set
                                                                                        (1m x 1m )
Technical solutions                                                                     White wash                      4 bags
    This project provided the infra-                                                    Brushes for whitewashing        2
structure for a serviced community                                                 -    Bamboo/rope for ceiling mats As
host population, and support to IDPs

Africa                                                                                                                        A.9

Strengths and weaknesses (continued)

                                                                                                                                 Photo: Joseph Ashmore
                                                                                                 Queue for distribution of materials

Situation before emergency                                      Situation at the initial
                                                              response stage


                                                                                           Technical solutions


                                             Joseph Ashmore


         Unloading a lorry of relief items

A.9                                                                                        Africa

                 -                                    -







                                                                    Logistics and materials
                                                   Joseph Ashmore

                                                                    Shelter items in the NFI

                                   Emergency shelters

                     ‘Coordination with all of                         Materials       Quantity
                     the agencies was key. We                                      2
                     held weekly meetings in
                     and set up information-
                     sharing systems such as a
                     website. No one had an
                     excuse for not knowing
                     what was going on!’                                           2
                 -   - Coordinator

Asia                                 Shelter Projects 2008    B

Section B





                                      Indonesia, Aceh

Asia                                               Shelter Projects 2008                                                   B.1

                                                                                                                             Photo: Joseph Ashmore
                                                                                                          Urban housing in Kabul

Project background                          Land issues                                 Technical solutions
  Since 2002, there have been over              The project could only provide              Shelter programmes in Afghani-
5 million returnees to Afghanistan,         shelter materials to those who had          stan started as a distribution of tents
                                            land to build on. Returnees with no         and household items. The main focus
largest returns are from Pakistan and       land had apply to the Government of         gradually turned to shelters.
Iran. Three million refugees remain in      Afghanistan’s managed land allocation
                                                                                           This programme began building
host countries and it is estimated that 1   scheme. However, this scheme has
                                                                                        mud-block shelters with wooden roofs,
million more will return by 2013.           proven slow to operate in the past. As
                                                                                        windows and doors. Due to supply and
                                            of mid-2008, approximately 500,000
                                                                                        sustainability issues, steel was used to
                                            returnees have registered for land and
schemes receive a ‘one-off’ grant of                                                    replace the timber.
                                            very few of them are now living on reg-
US$ 100.                                                                                ‘There are strong indications
                                            istered land.
                                                                                        that more women are now
                                                It was originally anticipated that 55   participating in programme
   Traditionally, there is serious under-   land allocation sites would be provided
representation of women in public
                                            through the support of the Ministry of
decision-making in Afghanistan and sig-     Refugees and Returnees. This number             As the programme worked across
                                            was reduced to thirteen, partly due to      the entire country of Afghanistan, there
non-elected individuals. To remedy this,    the unsuitability of selected sites.
                                                                                        cultural values, construction materials,
in each project area. Each committee            One of the challenges with building     capacity of implementing partners and
consisted of the lead and implementing      on new sites has been to coordinate         community support mechanisms. This
organisation, a local government repre-     with other organisations to provide         led to the development of standard
sentative and members of the popula-        services on previously uninhab-
tion for whom the project was targeted.     ited sites. In some cases this has not      data collection, reporting, feedback and
                                            happened and has led to shelters being      analysis.

B.1                             Afghanistan - 2002 - Returns - Shelter construction                                  Asia

    The following key regional varia-
tions of shelter design were adopted:
    Dome-type ceiling without beams
in west and north Afghanistan;
    Flat roof with beams in central,
east, south-east and south Afghanistan;
    Smaller windows in the Central
Highlands area than in other areas.
Relatively wider windows can also be
found in the central region.

                                                                                                                           Photo:Øyvind Nordlie
   The  shelter programme   is
based on a four-stage process:
Stage I: Planning - Allocation
of shelter per region/province/

implementing partners, establishment
of   materials   supply    contracts.                                                                     Completed shelters

Stage II: Contracting – Establishing
contracts with implementing partners.
Stage III: Assessment – Local needs

Stage IV: Implementation.
     Work started on site and
foundation completed (eight weeks).
     Walls erected, lintels installed

                                                                                                                          Photo: Wondwossen Tef-
 (four weeks).
     Shelter completed (four weeks).
     Handover (liquidation period, four
Logistics and materials

the timber was sourced from South
Africa and Pakistan. Supply challenges
and major sustainability issues with the                                                                        Steel trusses
sourcing of timber have led to revised
                                              During 2007 and 2008, rising costs of steel led to cost escalations from US$
designs for 2007 onwards that will use
                                           900 per shelter to in excess of US$ 1500 per shelter. This caused serious budget
steel in place of timber.
                                           shortages and the materials used consequently needed to be reassessed.
                                                                               Photo: Wondwossen Tef-

                                                                                                                          Photo:Øyvind Nordlie

                                                                 Completed shelter                              Internal view

B.2                                                                                                                                                              Asia

                                                                               Photo: NRC Azerbaijan

                                                                                                                                                                     Photo: NRC Azerbaijan
                                                                                                                                                                          Photo Predes
                                                              Selection of buildings                                           Technical solutions
                                                                  A programme to upgrade the public                               Inhabitants saw broken sewerage as
                                      Photo: NRC Azerbaijan

                                                              buildings and schools was adopted.                               the greatest problem in the buildings.
                                                                                                                               Other common problems included
                                                                  Criteria for the selection of
                                                                                                                               shortage of water, leaking roofs and
                                                              public buildings for inclusion in the
                                                              programme were adjusted throughout
                                                                                                                               and ceilings in toilets and bathrooms
                                                              the project period. However, the main
                                                                                                                               were damaged in most buildings.
                                                              criteria remained unchanged: at least
                                                              70% of building inhabitants had to be                               A typical repair of a public building
       Bathrooms before and after upgrade                     IDPs; other organisations could not                              involved:
                                                              have previously worked in the building;
Context                                                                                                                            rehabilitation of the shared areas
                                                              and the building had to be in exception-
                                                                                                                               - toilets, bathrooms, washing rooms,
                                                              ally bad condition.
between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the                                                                                          kitchens and corridors;
early 1990s led to over 500,000 people                                                                                             infrastructure repairs - electricity,
becoming internally displaced and a                           project prioritised hostels located                              sewerage, water and sewerage pipes;
further 200,000 becoming refugees.                            next to each other and that shared a                                 repair of roofs;
Around half of the internally displaced                       common yard. Such locations made                                     installation of new water heaters,
people moved to urban areas, most of                          repair works easier and reduced costs.                           sinks, stoves, faucets, showers, light
them to the capital, Baku.                                    Letters from local or central authori-                           bulbs, circuit breakers, switchboards,
                                                              ties, as well as applications from the                           windows and doors;
    In Baku, many people moved into                           residents, were also considered in the                               installation      of     electricity
dilapidated,   overpopulated     public                       selection process.                                               transformers (this was not costly but
buildings, most of which were origi-                                                                                           served a large number of IDPs).
nally student residence halls and dor-                            The willingness of the building
mitories. The buildings were designed                         residents to work with the NGO
with rooms intended for one person,                                                                                                 The most durable output of the
                                                              selection. Inhabitants had to be willing                         project was the provision of electric-
kitchens and bathrooms were shared. In                        to volunteer to help with repairs, and                           ity systems (including transformers and
some cases the buildings were without                         to clean corridors and shared areas. In                          switchboards) and new roofs.
water supply or sanitation. This was in                       some cases, works had to be suspended
                                                                                                                                    The project was not always success-
                                                                                                                               ful in solving problems with the water
wealth in Baku, in part due to the oil                        NGO’s conditions.
                                                                                                                               supply. A durable solution would have
industry.                                                                                                                      required dealing with the malfunctions
   The temporary shelter solutions                            from the project. Although similar                               outside the building, which was beyond
                                                              works were performed in most of the                              the scope of the project. Cooking
longer than was expected. Many of                             buildings, several of them were only                             stoves and taps in the rehabilitated
                                                              partially rehabilitated (only roof or                            buildings had short lifespans because
                                                              electricity) for a variety of reasons.                           many people used them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Photo: Predes

had been living in one of twelve camps.
                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: NRC Azerbaijan
                                                                                                       Photo: NRC Azerbaijan

The last of these did not close until

closure, many of the camp residents
were resettled rather than being able
to return to their original homes.
    The climate in Baku is cool and wet
in the winter and hot and dry in the
summer, leading to challenges of leaking
roofs and poor sanitation.                                                                                                           Kitchens before and after upgrade
Asia                                                                  Shelter Projects 2008                                                      B.2
  An average building took two

                                                                                                                                                     Photo: NRC Azerbaijan
months to rehabilitate, with the imple-

improved over the years.
    In the beginning, contractors
were hired to implement the work.
In practice, this meant that the NGO
purchased construction materials
and hired contractors to implement
all works. The payment of labourers
lacked transparency and important ir-

                                                                                                                                                      Photo: NRC Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
regularities in the system were found.
This led to the dismissal of project staff
and the adoption of a new implementa-
tion scheme.

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: NRC
    After two years of project imple-
mentation the NGO hired construc-
tion workers directly.
                                                                                                           One of the occupied public buildings in Baku
mentation the NGO subcontracted a
local company to supply construction
materials. The supplier was selected on                        Occupancy
                                                                                                               Along with the large-scale con-
the basis of submitted quotes.                                     A survey conducted upon the com-
                                                                                                           struction of new settlements, urban
                                                               pletion of the project found that all of
   Over time, a good team of core                                                                          public building rehabilitation became
                                                               the buildings were still occupied by
construction workers, most of them                                                                         part of the 2004 State Programme on
                                                               IDPs. However, the occupancy of indi-
IDPs, has been formed. Many of these                                                                       IDPs and Refugees. In many cases the
                                                               vidual rooms changed constantly. Many
have subsequently found work on                                                                            repairs implemented by the State Social
                                                               IDP families moved out of the buildings
other projects run by the NGO.                                                                             Fund for the Development of IDPs have
                                                               to an outskirt of Baku. In some cases,
                                                                                                           copied this project.
   The involvement of community                                the emptied rooms were given to local
members in the work was seen as a key                          families or those moving to Baku from
to the successful implementation of                            other regions, but usually to other
the project. The goal of the community                         IDPs. According to the building su-
                                                               perintendents, IDPs sell their rooms
                                                               to relatives or friends. Yet some also

                                                                                                                                                   Photo Kurt NRC Azerbaijan
buy-in and participation in the project.
This was believed to be instrumental in                        lock their rooms and keep them as a
creating a feeling of ownership and in                         storage space.

                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Rhyner
the further maintenance and upkeep of                              Obviously, the families who could
the rehabilitated buildings.                                   afford to leave the public buildings
                                                               were those who managed to establish
                                                               some livelihoods and were relatively
                                                               well off. The remaining occupants of
                                                               the public buildings are still the most
                                                               vulnerable of those living in the cities.
                                                                                                                                                             Photo: NRC Azerbaijan
                                       Photo: NRC Azerbaijan

                                                               ‘The project was based
                                                               on learning...We drew
                                                               conclusions from the
                                                               previous experience and
                                                               made improvements
                                                               every year. The work be-
                    Wiring before upgrade
                                                               - Project staff member
                                                                                                                    Corridors before and after upgrade

Asia                                                  Shelter Projects 2008                                                         B.3

                                                                                                                                         Photo: David Sanderson
            quake the organisation distributed non-food items through partners. This was followed by a transitional shelter programme.

After the earthquake                          to have introduced some inclusion (as           ‘What     the    international
    The earthquake struck the State of        well as exclusion) errors.
                                                                                              NGO      saw      as   normal
Gujarat on 26 January 2001, and par-
                                              Technical solutions                             professional procedures, the
ticularly affected the district of Kutch
                                                 A low-cost shelter design was                local organisation saw as
and its neighbouring areas.
                                              developed using low 1m walls and a
                                                                                              meaningless bureaucracy. The
    News of the earthquake spread             bamboo-framed and grass-thatched
rapidly through the international media.      roof. With time it was recognised               international NGO had bent
Local communities, the Central and            that there was a need to preserve the           its own rules in favour of the
State governments, the defense forces,                                                        local NGO to such an extent
donors, and international and national        material was replaced with locally
NGOs all responded to the emergency.          produced Mangalore clay tiles.
                                                                                              became highly concerned…
          Within one week, a network              The dimensions of the shelters              But ultimately there is no
of 22 local organisations, including de-      built were approximately 4m x 2½m.              doubt that the international
velopmentally minded architects, had          Although this provided a covered area
formed a partnership agreement with           of only 10m2 for a family, these dimen-         NGO's real achievement in
an international organisation. Members        sions were carefully selected to focus          the Gujarat response was its
of this local network had been working        on earthquake safety. A larger span             link with local NGOs and the
on low-cost construction technolo-                                                            temporary housing project’.
gies prior to the earthquake and were         materials to ensure the same level of           – Evaluation by the Disasters
able to act as an effective coordination      safety.
mechanism. During the earthquake
                                                                                              Emergency Committee (the donor)
                                                   The distribution of construction
their focus was on:
                                              materials was phased to ensure that
    interim,      transitional     shelter    buildings were built safely:
(it would not be possible to build
                                                  First, a shallow foundation was             Working with partners
permanent shelter to meet the needs
                                              built. When this was complete the                   The way in which the international
of all affected families within a year and
                                              cement for the walls was distributed.           NGO was able to work in partner-
                                                  Walls then had to be built. When            ship with a strong local network of
the gap);
    examples of low-cost and safe                                                             NGOs was one of the strengths of this
                                              materials were distributed.                     project. However, the relationship at
public buildings.
                                                 After the initial shelters were built,       times became strained, in part due to
the focus was on the distribution of                                                          the different working methods and the
                                              an upgrade programme was required.              speed at which the working relation-
non-food items.
                                              This involved distributing four pieces          ship was set up.
                                              of bamboo (1½m long ) to brace the
   The initial assessment was rapid and       roof.                                               The international NGO had
                                                                                              internal rules and donor requirements
                                                  The distributions of materials were         for paperwork and processes for ac-
it relied on individual competence and        accompanied by the training of local
was not standardised.                                                                         countability. The local organisations
                                              masons and carpenters, to mobilise the          saw much of this as overly bureaucratic.
   The criteria and procedures for            communities and raise their awareness           These organisational differences were
                                              of seismic-resistant construction. A sig-       compounded by high staff turnover.
distribution in the communities were
                                              to ensure that people correctly braced              Many of the procedures, logistical
commonly left to the subjective inter-        their shelters and to explain that once
pretation of the village-level workers        braced, the buildings would be stronger         However, the shelter programme
and the communities. Although this            and safer.                                      was very effective according to both
                                                                                              internal and external evaluations.

B.3                       India - Gujarat - 2001 - Earthquake - Non-food items and shelters                                                          Asia

                                         Photo: David Sanderson

                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Chris Cattaway
       By working through a network of local                         These school buildings were adapted from the transitional shelters. The low walls reduce
      NGOs, it was possible to mobilise large                                             the risk of masonry falling on occupants during future earthquakes.
                         numbers of people.

‘Generally, the concept of                                        Construction materials were procured
working through a local                                           through the local NGOs’ procurement           Materials list
NGO partner is better than                                        team. Two entire trains were chartered             Relief items distributed in 259
                                                                  to bring in 265,000 bamboo poles from         villages until 31 March:
working directly, particularly                                    Assam. As the Bhuj train station did
in relief distribution. INGOs                                     not have freight handling capacity, the            Relief items             Quantity
have less detailed knowledge                                      station had to be closed for 24 hours           Tent                  847
about the affected people’s                                       while the trains were unloaded. It took         Plastic sheet         8,835
needs. On the other hand,                                         120 trucks to transport the materials           Blankets              127,515
                                                                  onwards to temporary stores in the
local NGOs may lack                                               village from where they could be
                                                                                                                  Bucket                3,728
the skills to meet donors’                                        distributed.                                    Jerry can             1,328
requirements. Collaboration                                                                                       Children's clothes    7,237
                                                                     The remaining bamboo was
between INGOs and local                                           procured from Nagpur and brought to
NGOs, thus, is mutually                                           Bhuj through trucking companies.                 Total distribution of construction
               ’.                                                    Roof tiles are traditionally produced
                                                                                                                materials from 1 May to 15 October
- Project evaluation report                                                                                     2001:
                                                                  by small-scale suppliers. In order to
Implementation and logistics                                      purchase the 12 million required, it               Relief items             Quantity
                                                                                                                  Cement                72,684
camp and warehouse were set up in                                 to pay multiple roadside suppliers.
                                                                                                                  Bamboo                422,217
                                     -                               Wooden purlins, rafters and patties          Woven mats            149,878
lished in Ahmedabad. Tents, plastic                               were procured from the timber
sheeting, some blankets, jerry cans,                                                                              Wooden spacers        9,689,295
                                                                  merchants and transported by truck, in
children’s clothes and WHO medical                                                                                Wooden rafter         178,401
                                                                  some cases directly from the sawmills.
kits were procured from outside India.                                                                            Wooden purlin         39,250
They were brought to Bhuj by four                                     Record keeping for procurement,
                                                                                                                  Roof tile             12,114,483
                                                                  supplies and distribution was not very
                                                                  good. This was the result of the complex        Roof ridge            325,600
tents were procured from Bangalore
and Kanpur and were brought to the                                and very rapid procurement of multiple          Iron wire             52,22
Bhuj warehouse through transport                                  items. In addition, the multiple partner        Mild steel rod        97,532
agencies.                                                         organisations had different working
                                                                  practices. The resulting programme
    Relief materials were delivered to
the network of NGOs. Its members                                  was effective in providing shelter for a
collected the relief materials at                                 large number of people.
the warehouse and transported
them to the villages for distribution.

B.4                  Indonesia - Aceh - 2004 - Tsunami and earthquake - Shelter or housing                                 Asia

                                                                                                                                       Photo: Joseph Ashmore
                                                                                                                             Photo Predes
Before the tsunami                               Throughout the response and            developed in each district.
   The Indonesian state of Aceh is a         reconstruction, government housing
                                                                                           As part of the agreements
densely forested state in the north of       policy had a strong impact on the
                                                                                        reached with the communities, the
the island of Sumatra. The majority of       response. Policy required that the
the population live along the coast and      shelters that were built create a
                                                                                        had    provided transitional shelter
the main access is by sea or along the       minimum covered area of 36m2. The
                                                                                        for as long as two years, were
coastal roads.                                                                          upgraded at the NGO’s expense
                                             was the building of transitional living
   Aceh has had intermittent periods         centres, also known as ‘barracks’.

                                                                                                                                                               Photo: Predes
                                             These were      long, timber-framed
the government of Indonesia declared         and panelled buildings on stilts with
martial law in the province. As a            plywood separation between families.
involvement of non-governmental              Technical solutions
organisations in the province.                   Traditional   coastal   Achinese
                                             shelters are entirely made of local
                                                                                          Road shelters years after the tsunami.
                                                                                        once all shown twohad been completed.
After the tsunami                            timber and have thatched roofs. They                        of the west coast of Aceh.
    The earthquake that struck on 26         are often on stilts to keep them off
December 2004 was one of the largest         the ground. More recent construction
ever recorded and damaged many of            has a concrete plinth and low brick
the larger concrete-framed buildings                                                    Who builds?
                                             walls, with a timbered superstructure          Planning of the programme started
in Aceh. The ensuing tsunami caused          built on top. The roof is covered in
extensive damage in many of the                                                         approximately six weeks after the
                                             corrugated iron.                           tsunami, as a community-led con-
countries in the Indian Ocean. The
province of Aceh was the worst hit,             This project began building semi-       struction programme to build shelters
due to its proximity to the earthquake       permanent shelters based on local          similar to those that many families had
and because the majority of the popu-        designs. These had concrete and brick      before the disaster. The programme
lation live in low-lying coastal areas.      foundations and low brick walls, and       sensibly aimed to build skills and ca-
                                             were topped with timber frames,            pacities within the villages, create live-
    Following the tsunami, the majority      a corrugated iron roof and timber          lihood opportunities and cultivate a
of emergency shelter needs were met          panels.                                    higher level of ownership by encourag-
                                                                                        ing self-build approaches.
military, Indonesian organisations and           About ten months after the
                                             tsunami, the house model changed to a          The scale of the construction in
due to logistical challenges and the         reinforced concrete-framed structure
fact that foreign access was limited         with brick walls and a wood-framed         ever before been experienced in the
by infrastructure damage and travel          roof. It included over 50 separate com-    region, requiring over 109,000 houses
restrictions resulting from the ongoing      ponents, as well as toolkits. This was     from a building industry that had only
                                             seen as ‘building back better’, although   built a fraction of that number. As
collective tents, existing buildings,        there were some safety concerns            time passed and villagers started to
individual family tents, by use of plastic   where builders had taken shortcuts.        regain their livelihoods, NGOs found
sheeting and by families moving inland
to where the damage was not as bad.                                                     villages.
                                             distinct districts, with different
                                             designs and implementation methods

Asia                                              Shelter Projects 2008                                                      B.5

   There is a strong tradition of bamboo-                                               A transitional shelter strategy was adopt-
       based construction in Jogyakarta.                                                     ed by the Shelter Cluster members.

                                                              Bamboo jointing details

        Bamboo being bound with string                                                  Electric power drills used to drill holes in
                                                                                           the bamboo so that it can be pegged
                                                                                                                                       Photos: IFRC

                 Prefabrication of a wall panel     Connecting a vertical post to          Foundation pads cast with bamboo to
                                                                 the foundation                      connect them to the frame

B.6   Indonesia, Jogyakarta - 2006 - Earthquake - Overview of the response                         Asia

                                            Public information messages distributed as part of the response

 B6                              Jogyakarta - 2006 - Earthquake - Cash and transitional shelter                                                      Asia
                                                                                                                Community-built shelter
                                                                                                                couraged to follow the design, but not
                                                                                                                compelled to. In some cases people

                                        Photo: IFRC
                                                                                                                as in Delingo, a remote community

                                                                                                  Photo: IFRC
                                                                                                                with widespread construction skills
                                                                                                                and local construction resources.
                                                                                                                   The volunteers/supervisors were
       A completed transitional shelter built             A transitional shelter built on the site of           essential to guide and support good
                       through cash grants                                       a destroyed house              construction. The more the volunteers

                                                      Design process                                            process, the more the construction
                                                          This project aimed to empower                         followed the design and was of
    Small cash grants were given out via
traditional mutual support mechanisms                 community members to rebuild their
                                                      lives, starting with the construction of                  problematic as long as the general
to neighbourhood groups to buy tools
                                                      a transitional shelter. The transitional                  principles were followed and the
and basic materials to build temporary
                                                      shelter design was developed through                      essential points (such as building size,
                                                      an understanding of locally available
    Meetings were held with each                      materials, community needs and the                        Delay in project startup
group to discuss the project and to                   capacity and objectives of the organi-                       The organisation was initially
sign a contract with the community. In                sation.                                                   hesitant to give cash directly to ben-
order to participate, each neighbour-
hood (20-50 houses) had to form a                        It took one month for the design
                                                      process, one month for community                          institutional support for the project, it
shelter committee that had to include
                                                      preparation    and    demonstration                       could have been scaled up faster and
a head of the group, a treasurer (who
                                                      shelters, and one week to build 740                       reached more people.
had to be a woman) and a secretary.
The positions could not be held by                    ‘model’ houses through a public com-                      Community knowledge
                                                      petition.                                                     Community levels of knowledge
                                                         The competition involved three                         about the use of bamboo varied. The
   The committee was responsible
                                                      categories and offered prize money                        more urbanised the environment,
                                                      that went to the neighbourhood for:                       the lower the level of traditional
who could be anyone currently living
                                                                                                                knowledge in the community, which
in a tent or under a tarpaulin, with                     the most number of houses;                             led to a lower quality of bamboo con-
a house unsuitable for habitation.                       the most beautiful houses; and                         struction.
Priority was given to vulnerable people                  the involvement of women.
such as widows, orphans, disabled                                                                                   The rural mountainous commu-
people, pregnant women, the sick                            The programme was rolled out                        nities recovered relatively quickly,
and the elderly. Funds were delivered                 over seven months, with 12,250                            despite higher levels of damage from
through group bank accounts in three                  shelters built in 761 communities.                        the earthquake and higher levels of
to four instalments. The community                    Shelters cost under US$ 200 per unit.                     general poverty. One of the reasons
contributed labour and materials                                                                                for this was that many locals had
recovered from the rubble.                                                                                      worked in the construction industry
                                                                                                                prior to the earthquake.
                                                                                                                                                         Photo IFRC

                                                                                                                      The interior of a transitional shelter

Asia                                                         Shelter Projects 2008                                                           B.7
                                                          Community training lasted up to              As per the requirements of the
                                                      one week. During this time the vol-         cluster-wide    transitional   shelter
                                                      unteers and the community built the         design, untreated bamboo was used
                                                                                            -     (which deteriorates after two years).
                                                      ing media (a step-by-step guide, an in-     If treated bamboo had been integrated

                                       Photos: IFRC
                                                      formative video about using bamboo in       into the programme, the shelter
                                                      construction, safe construction adver-      structures could have been safely used
                                                                                                  in communities for up to 25 years.
                                                      lived in the communities in a tent or
           Transporting bamboo mats to a                                                          Resource management
                                                      transitional shelter and worked with
                          construction site                                                           The shelter programme built
                                                      the communities every day.
Implementation partners                                                                           12,250 transitional shelters that used
    Throughout this project, the or-                      Working with volunteers allowed         more than 100 culms of bamboo per
ganisation worked with national vol-                  a large-scale programme to be set up.       shelter, using a total of more than 1.2
unteers, two local universities, un-                  The volunteers were often enthusias-        million culms of bamboo.
dergraduate architecture students,                    tic and very willing to help, but some
                                                                                                      To avoid deforestation of the
a training team, NGO facilitators/                                                         -
                                                                                                  bamboo stock, this project could have
trainers, an implementation team, and                 rience. This led to some challenges in
                                                                                                  set up purchasing control mechanisms
a bamboo expert with experience in                    ensuring adequate quality control.
                                                                                                  to manage the bulk procurement of
                                     -                                                            bamboo that controlled quality, en-
ties in Jogyakarta and Central Java.                  stipend and supported with cooking          vironmental impact, procurement
   The local universities were involved                                                           methods and treatment of the bamboo.
and helped to:                                                                                    It would have also been possible to
                                                      training session was held.                  allocate money to reforestation pro-
    develop technical inputs for shelter                                                          grammes.
design and messages;                                  The Shelter Cluster design
    develop     posters,     pamphlets,               guidelines included seismic                            Materials             Quantity
t-shirts, etc.;                                       resistance, lasting up to two                 Bamboo mats                    10 mats
    train students to deliver 'build                                                                6 walls, 3 ceiling, 1 door
                                                      years, using materials that
back better' messages under staff                                                                   Round poles (for columns)      12 poles
supervision; and
                                                      could be recycled and that                    3' diameter, 3m long
    set up mobile construction clinics.               cost under US$ 200.                           Round poles (for beams         11 poles
                                                                                                    and roof joists)
                                                      Ongoing use of shelters                       7.5cm diameter, 3m long
    The local media also got involved,
reinforcing best practice shelter and                     In the densely populated area of                                         7 beams
construction messages on the radio,                   Klaten, the transitional shelters were
television and in print.                              eventually demolished to make room            Nails                          2.2 kg
                                                      for permanent housing.                        5cm, 7.5cm and 10cm
‘Achieving good recovery and                              In the rural areas, the majority          Wire                           1 kg
risk reduction outcomes in                            of the transitional shelters were still       Hinges                         3 units
shelter is not about building                         being used after permanent shelters           Lock                           1 units
structures. It is about building                      were built, but for purposes such as
trust with communities’.                              storage sheds, shelter for cattle and
- Recovery coordinator for the                        livestock, or for small restaurants.

Working with volunteers
   The shelter programme mobilised
volunteers as community trainers, with
two volunteers per neighbourhood.

three days and nights of hands-on
training making straw models and a
                                                                                                                                             Photos: IFRC

training and team-building exercises.
They then worked with communi-
ties on selecting and buying materials,
the technical aspects of working with
bamboo and building the shelters.
                                                                                   Public information was a critical component of the project.

Asia                                                Shelter Projects 2008                                                   B.7

                                                                                                                                     Photos: Dave Hodgkin
                                                                     ‘You know you chose the appropriate
                                                                     technology for transitional shelter when
                                                                     that technology gets appropriated by
                                                                     the rest of the local community’.

Distribution - plastic sheeting                 At the request of local communi-         and equipment for cleanup and
   The organisation implementing this       ties and in support of the local self-help   reconstruction; and
project was one of the few agencies         tradition of ‘gotong royong’, all distri-       a shortage of clean sleeping mats.
with full-functioning capacity at the       butions occurred at the community
time of the earthquake. It started its      level instead of the individual level. All
                                            needs assessments and distributions              The rush by affected families to re-
                                            were conducted by local implementing         construct permanent houses raised a
                                            partners. Communities were responsi-         number of advocacy concerns. These
   As rain was falling each night there                                                  included issues about the quality
was an urgent need for shelter, but                                                      of construction, health and safety,
supplies were too limited to supply             Because local NGOs conducted             treatment of the asbestos within the
one tarpaulin per family.                   all distributions and evaluations, the       rubble and the construction of shelters
                                            amount of human resources that the           in precarious positions.
   A broader distribution through
                                            international NGO itself had to deploy
local partners was conducted. Each                                                           The emergency programme was
                                            was extremely limited. At its peak
                                                                                         followed by an Enhanced Emergency
tarpaulins to ensure that the sick, the                                                  Shelter programme, which provided:
                                            staff, and focused its resources more
weak, the young and the elderly were
                                            on logistics and partnership support.            woven bamboo wall sheeting
                                            Expansion of the emergency                   (gedek) to affected communities to
days, villages joined tarpaulins together
to form large communal shelters that        shelter programme
                                               Early analysis of the progress of         material to build walls for their
housed the whole village at night (up
                                            community recovery showed:                   emergency shelter;
to ten times the expected number of
                                                                                             combined community toolkits for
                                                the use of tarpaulin for both            clean-up and reconstruction; and
   As funds and capacity from other                                                          sleeping mats.
organisations arrived, the project          undercover space;
                                                                                            It also launched an advocacy
returning to previously assisted villages   for temporary shelter framing, but           and public outreach programmes to
and supplying 48m2 of plastic sheeting                                                   address safety and health issues.
per family (two 6m x 4m sheets).                a   pressing     need    for    tools
                                                                                                                            Photos: Dave Hodgkin

 B7                       Jogyakarta - 2006 - Earthquake - Emergency and transitional shelter                                      Asia

                                                                                                                                                  Photos: Dave Hodgkin
              The extension of the emergency programme provided additional plastic sheets so that each needy family received one sheet.

Transitional shelter grants                 the emergency shelter distributions.             Cluster members as a part of shelter
                                            These were based on a tender process             material distributions. In total, four
emergency shelter programme, a              that resulted in a cost of US$ 100-300           batches of 20,000 posters each were
programme was started to support            per shelter.                                     distributed to the disaster-affected
the transition into temporary housing.                                                       population.
                                                As well as housing 2,000 families
The transitional shelter programme          and improving the capacity of a                     The public outreach working group
was conducted in accordance with the        number of local partners, this                   went on to develop a range of public
Emergency Shelter Cluster guidelines        programme produced a range of                    outreach and advertising materials to
that had been developed locally             well-documented transitional shelter             promote safe reconstruction.
following the earthquake.                   solutions as potential examples for
                                            further expansion or adoption by
‘The best we can do as                      other agencies.
                                                                                                   Materials             Quantity
shelter managers, is to be
responsive and adaptive to                  Public outreach and advocacy                       Plastic tarpaulin    20-30 per
the changing needs of the                   earthquake shelter response was                                         (200-300 families)
affected community;providing                a public outreach and advocacy
minimalist but strategic and                programme, where the organisation                  Plastic tarpaulin    1 per family
incremental inputs into the                 provided technical advice to the Shelter
communities' natural path                   Cluster. This led to the formation of
                                            technical working groups. One group                Woven bamboo
from inadequate to adequate                 working on public outreach produced
permanent shelter’.                         posters on a range of issues including:
                                                                                               Tikka matts          2 per family
    Cultural, environmental and cost            safe clean-up;
concerns led to the creation of a               safe siting of temporary shelters;
                                                safe reconstruction;                           1) Clean-up          Distributed per
set of common guidelines based on                                                                                   village
traditional bamboo frame construction           safe handling of asbestos and dust;            2) Reconstruction
with clay roof tiles and woven bamboo           building next to hazardous                     3) Village level
wall cladding. Flexibility in design to     buildings; and
allow for innovations was encouraged.           an introduction to simple bamboo
                                                                                                                    US$ 100-300 per
                                            and concrete construction techniques.              on tender process
    This programme provided eight               The organisation led a cluster
cash grants to local community organi-      working group to design and print
sations/businesses and groups, to work      posters. These were then distributed               posters              posters
with communities already serviced by        by the local government and by Shelter
                                                                                                                                      Photos: Dave Hodgkin

                                     Grants were provided to build transitional shelters. Many different and innovative designs were built.

B.8                                                                                                                        Asia

Strengths and weaknesses

                                                                    Implementation of the 2nd phase during the following

      Professional cooperation with the Russian postal

 cash disbursement.                                                 In view of the scope of the project (the entire Republic of

                                                                 to reveal detailed information about its effects and impact.

                                                                                                                                Photo: Mathias Rickli
                                                                                             The project worked with host families.
Context                                                                                Eligibility criteria

to the Republic of Ingushetia. At one
                                        also sought to encourage the solidar-
                                                                                       resident; and
                                        host families with economic incentives
                                        to encourage them to continue hosting
                                                                                       the same address and a registration
This was possible because of close                                                     date within a given time period.
                                            Assessments were conducted in              Implementation
two countries.                                                                            Registration - The registration
                                            the appropriateness of the cash for
                                        shelter approach;                              Nations and the Federal Migration
evicted   from   private   accommoda-       acceptance     among      potential        Service lists. The two lists were

                                            the      readiness       of    partner
                                                                                                            To ensure that the

Asia                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                            B.8

                                                                                                                                    Photo: Mathias Rickli
                                            By supporting host families with one off cash grants, the project aimed to avoid evictions.

    Public information - The
intention to implement a cash project

federal government as well as to the

                                                                                                                                    Photo: Mathias Rickli
Ingush government and the humani-

on local television kept the popula-
tion updated on the programme and

premises of local administrations.
                                                                                                      Cash for shelter collection point
   Complaints - A complaints
process involving the project man-          Assistance provided - Each                       Security -
Complainants were asked to refer to                                                      strictions on international staff. Small

were eligible for compensation.                                                             Impacts - Although there were
                                                                                         some signs of eviction reported among
                                         for computer classes and support to             the international humanitarian aid
                                         soup kitchens. The objective of this
                                         was to acknowledge the goodwill of

a result of close cooperation with the
                                                       - The team consisted of

   Payments -

postal service. The postal service       two drivers and up to 24 part-time
                                         monitors and drivers. The staff were
transactions and personal invitations                                       -
                                         etia and one in North Osetia.

Asia                                                                                                                                    B.9

                                                             Destroyed rural houses (left, centre) and urban houses (right) in Kashmir

                                            Self-built shelters in Kashmir built using reclaimed materials only ten days after the earthquake

                                                                                                                                                 Photos: Joseph Ashmore
         Left to right: Self-built shelters in Kashmir using donated iron and toolkits, an emergency shelter days after the earthquake, tents.

  Above, assorted model shelters built in the North-West Frontier Province and Kashmir. Note that not all of these models (e.g. the domed

 B.10                       Pakistan - 2005 - Earthquake - Transitional shelter construction                                                     Asia
   Villagers collected their shelter          There was a warehouse for each

materials included in each kit depended    transported to the villages; from there
upon the family size. There was a          it was the responsibility of villagers to
                                           carry them to construction sites.
   After some initial issues with          The shelters after two years
shelters not being completed, the              After two years, nearly half of the
                                           shelters were still standing in their
valuable part of the kit, the corrugated   original position. Of those that had
iron, were distributed only upon com-      been removed, one was reassembled
pletion of the frame.                      in the summer pastures. Shelters were
                                           commonly removed to make space
    Most of the shelters were con-
                                           for the ‘permanent’ house or to reuse
structed by a team of two to four
                                           the materials. The corrugated iron and
workers in less than one week. The
                                           the timber were the most commonly
                                           reused materials.
‘person days’ of payment for the con-
struction of each shelter. In practice,         Materials                  Quantity
the technical assistance teams ended        Polypropylene sand       350
up constructing many of the shelters.       bags
Progress was periodically halted by
                                            Wire 14g/PP strips       ¼ roll
deteriorating weather conditions, par-      20 x 6mm
ticularly in early January.
                                            Polypropylene            6 rolls
                                       -    string
                                            Corrugated iron          16
to the procurement and transporta-          sheets
tion of materials and the weather con-      2.74m x 0.99m
ditions. The corrugated iron sheeting,      Iron ridge sheets        6.7m
                                            Nails                    5kg

the required quantity. A tender for
                                           Salvaged timber was also used for the
sheeting was placed in November
but suppliers were not able to deliver.
Eventually it was imported from India,
which required high-level negotiations
                                           families and contained: an adze
to relax the import restrictions into
                                           (woodworking axe) with handle, a cold
Pakistan for Indian materials.
                                           chisel, a 1.3 m crowbar, a hacksaw
                                           with 20 blades, a 2kg hammer, a claw
                                                                                                                                                     Photo Kurt Rhyner
Logistics and materials                    hammer, 10m of transparent hose,
  For much of the duration of the          three needles, a pick with handle,
                                           pliers, a 400mm handsaw, a shovel, a

As a result, materials had to be driven    wrench.
to Muzaffarabad and then airlifted to
tion was by donkey and by foot.
                                                                                                                                                                  Photos: Albert Reichart
                                                                                      Photo Albert Reichart

                                                    Inside one of the transitional shelters                   Building one of the transitional shelters

 B.11                             Pakistan - 2005 - Earthquake - Shelter materials distribution                                                 Asia
                                                                                                              earthquake damage to roads meant
   Within one week of the earthquake,                                                                         that many people incurred costs in
                                                                                                              getting to the distribution points and
and Muzaffarabad, the two operational                                                                         transporting materials home. This was
hubs for relief operations in Pakistani-                                                                      by far the largest cause of dissatisfac-
controlled Kashmir. The programmes                                                                            tion with the distribution process.
were in rural areas, selected on the
                                                                                                                  Corrugated iron became a much
basis of the level of damage and
                                                                                                              sought-after commodity in distribu-
coverage by other organisations.
                                                                                                              tions. A combination of the cost of the
   The initial lists of people who                                                                            iron and the very low incomes of many
should qualify for support were                                                                               affected families meant that a distribu-
provided by community leaders. A                                                                              tion of corrugated iron was equivalent

                                                                                    Photo Hassan Noor Saadi
                                                                                                              to months’ or even years’ worth of dis-
each house, often climbing a long                                                                             posable income to families. The value
way to reach it. People were checked                                                                          was such that many people did not use
against a number of criteria, including                                                                       it to meet immediate shelter needs as
the level of damage to their house.                                                                           intended. Instead they stored it for use
Each qualifying homeowner then                                                                                in reconstruction or sold it for cash.
received a distribution card, which
                                                                                                                  The non-availability of land was
could be exchanged for items at an
                                                                                                              due to areas being prone to landslides
agreed distribution point at an agreed
                                                      The shelter programme distributed                       and the remaining land being owned
time.                                                        directly to affected families                    or used for farming. Due to the scale
   The only location where there              materials in standardised kits was to                           of the programme and challenges in
                                                                                                              identifying staff, it was not possible to
the assessment process was where              the distribution points, but it led to                          provide support in negotiating access
the distribution took place through a         distributions being less targeted to                            to land or to support construction.
local partner NGO, where prominent            individual needs.
                                                                                                                  It was noted that affected people
local individuals may have biased the            At a later stage, cooksets, stoves                           tended to act more as individuals
selection.                                    and coal were procured and distrib-                             and families than as ‘communities’
Technical solutions                           uted, but not in the same quantities as                         following the earthquake. Individual
                                                                                                              families limited their responsibilities
constraints and the scale of the need,           An evaluation indicated that many                            to building their own shelters, rather
a programme was developed that                                                                                than creating and supporting initiatives.
was based exclusively on distribution         useful. In Muzaffarabad, where the                              The challenges of the earthquake, the
directly to affected families. Tents and                                                                      environment and the weather made
                                              a rapid consultation process, satisfac-                         people prioritise to ensure that their
weeks. However, a revised plan to             tion was higher than in Bagh, where                             own needs were met.
                                              consultation had been very limited. It
and toolkits was rapidly agreed upon.                                                                                    Material               No.
                                              is not known whether the distribution
People were expected to salvage their                                                                          Corrugated iron sheets           10
own timber to construct a frame and           strapping served to make buildings                                8’x3’
a roof.                                       more seismically resistant.                                      Quilts                           4
   Corrugated iron and plastic                Reasons for dissatisfaction with                                 Blankets                         2
sheeting were distributed for use as          the toolkits                                                     Toolkit: spade, hammer,          1
                                                                                                               wood saw, iron saw, 20m
corrugated iron and plastic is that they      These included:
                                                                                                               rope, pliers, hoe, 8kg nails
are relatively lightweight. Even a poorly         limited consultation in the design
built shelter is unlikely to kill people in   of the toolkits due to time pressures;
                                                  the varying skills and capacities of                         Plastic sheet 6m x 4m            1
the event of further aftershocks and
building collapse.                            affected populations to use the tools;                           Stove with exhaust pipes         1
                                                  the variable security surrounding                            Jerry can 20l                    1
   Toolkits containing basic carpentry        Bagh;
and earthmoving tools, as well as nails                                                                        Jackets – 1 large, 1 medium,     1
                                                  lack of support to help people use
                                                                                                               1 small
                                              their tools to rebuild; and
were developed through a limited but              the inconsistent quality of tools.                           Plastic shoes – I large,         1
rapid community consultation. The             Implementation                                                   1 medium, 1 small
time pressure was such that orders                Although distribution points were                            Cookset: 3 pots, 6 large         1
for large numbers of kits could be            selected with the consent of community                           plates, 6 small plates, 6
rapidly placed, leading to cost and           representatives and communities were                             spoons, 1 knife, 2 mugs
logistics savings. The idea of delivering

B.12                                                                                                                     Asia

                                                                                                                            Photo: Jake Zarins
                                                            Photo: Jake Zarins
                                 Core shelter under construction                                          Completed core shelter
Before the project

                                           shelter actors resulted in the allocation
                                           of the nine different Grama Niladarai
                                      -    administrative areas to different
many years. Families from the area had                                                 resistance to cyclones and heavy rains
                                           the local authorities supplied a list of    (steel bar reinforcement of wall pillars,

   In July 2007 many displaced families
                                                                                       rain, adequate foundations, raised
many of their homes destroyed or in        Land rights / ownership
disrepair. The majority of the previous
                                                                                       materials from the destroyed houses.
                                           show the location and remains of their
                                           destroyed house as proof of tenure.
and had often fallen apart due to the                                                                                                            -
croachment by elephants.
                                                                                       estimated that the construction of
ment had insisted upon a 500 ft2 foun-
                                           of families who had lost documents
did not have the personal resources to
                                     -     Technical solutions                         ‘It’s nearly the same size as
                                              Analysis showed that there would         our previous house, but with
                                           be little difference in costs between
                                           a semi-permanent shelter of the
                                                                                       a good door and window’.
   The district was very isolated,                                                     Implementation
                                           responses, and a core shelter made
                                           with permanent materials. After
NGO to adopt a relatively hands-off        research and discussions in the
                                           communities, the NGO also came to
for construction quality and comple-       the conclusion that a smaller (18.6m2)
                                           core shelter would be acceptable to         the local community. Each family
ies themselves. At the same time, the                                                  the NGO, which clearly stated the
NGO was under pressure to show                                                         responsibilities of the NGO and those
results in a short period of time. This

                                      -    core shelter version was chosen.               The NGOs delivered the materials
                                              The core shelter has a fully             (apart from the locally sourced river
rainy season.                              enclosed space, as well as a veranda
                                           area that can also be enclosed.

carpentry and masonry, and was also        demonstrate basic possible variations
                                                                                       from the central distribution site, for

Asia                                                  Shelter Projects 2008                                                                            B.12
                                                                                                                  provided all materials, apart from
                                                                                                                  locally sourced sand. All other materials
                                                                                                                  were procured in Trincomalee, the


                                                                                                                  pay for the transportation of materials
                                                                                                                  from the central distribution site.
                                                                                                                  After the project

                                                                                     Photo: Jake Zarins
                                                                                                                     More than 80% of the families used
                                                                                                                  personal resources or sweat equity

                                                                                                                  their shelters. Some members of the

    More than 80% of the families used personal resources or their own time and effort to                         other members of the community.
                                                              upgrade their core shelters.                        The isolation of the location and the
                                              to those members of the communities
quality assurance, both of the shelters
and of any subsequent additions. The                                                                              other competition for employment
NGO also distributed instructions on
                                                                                                                               Material            Quantity
                                                                                                                   Cement 50 kg bag                26
for the shelters.
                                                                                                                   River sand (tractor load)       4
                                                                                                                   20mm aggregate (metal)          0.3m3
each community to share, with the                                                                                  Gravel (existing debris could   1.3m3
                                              few members of the community came                                    be used)
                                              forward with such requests.                                          10mm diameter steel             2
their turn with them and then pass
                                                                                                                   6mm diameter mild steel         3.7m
                                              the NGO provided repairs of pre-                                     reinforcement
                                                                                                                   Binding wire                    0.2kg
by the community members was more             partner for the provision of new toilets                             Wall plate 50mm x 100mm         15m
informal, but did not produce com-            where needed.                                                        Ridge plate 50mm x 100mm        7.5m
plaints.                                                                                                           Tie beam 75mm x 125mm           3.7m
                                              Logistics and materials
                                         -      Because of the isolation of the                                    Prop 75mm x 125mm               1m
                                                                                                                   Rafter 50mm x 100mm             44m
                                                                                                                   Reaper 25mm x 50mm              60m
                                                                                                                   Soligram                        10 litres
                                                                                                                   28-gauge corrugated iron        20
                                                                                                                   sheet, 2.4m long                sheets
                                                                                                                   Tar sheet 0.9m wide             3.4m
                                                                                                                   Ridge tiles                     20
                                                                                                                   L-hook with nut & washer,       6kg.
                                                                                                                   Nails 100mm                     2kg
                                                                                                                   Nails 50mm                      2kg
                                                                                                                   10 mm diameter bolt and nut,    2
                                                                                                                   10 mm diameter bolt and nut,    6
                                                                                                                   100mm long
                                                                                                                   Door 0.9m x 1.8m with frame,    1
                                                                                                                   including ironmongery and
                                                                                             Photo: Jake Zarins

                                                                                                                   Window 0.9m x 1m with           1
                                                                                                                   frame, including ironmongery

                                                     A durable upgrade of a core shelter

Asia                                               Shelter Projects 2008                                                                    B.13

                                                          Photo: Joseph Ashmore

                                                                                                                                                Photo: Joseph Ashmore
   There was no construction allowed within 200m of the high-                     In some cases, small groups of transitional shelters were built on
     tide mark in some areas and within 100m in other areas.                        small plots of land that were negotiated on a temporary basis.

                                                                                                                                                Photo: Joseph Ashmore

                                                                                                                                                                        Photos: Jo Da Silva and others.

                            The shelter strategy allowed for many different shelter designs. Over 70,000 transitional shelters were built.

Asia                                              Shelter Projects 2008                                                                     B.14
Before the tsunami                                                                                           The metal frames also meant that
   Many families had built houses                                                                         the shelters could be relocated and
on customary plots in ribbon settle-                                                                      reused if necessary, unlike shelters

                                                                                    Photos: Jim Kennedy
ments along the coast road. This was                                                                      made from wood. The roofs were
a response to the economic develop-                                                                       made from galvanised metal (a material
ment of the region over the previous                                                                                                           -
decade and was spurred on by gov-
ernment-backed housing programmes.                                                                        status), with open eaves under the
However, consideration was not given                                                                      roofs to provide for ventilation.
to the consequences of cyclone and
                                                Shelters were arranged in small groups                    provide the rubble for the raised foun-
to the consequences of drying out                on plots of land, often negotiated with                  dation and the sand for the cement mix.
                                                                   the help of the NGO.                   A half-wall of concrete blocks was built
areas. The haphazard layout of the
                                        Land rights / ownership                                           along the edge of the foundation. Each
housing also limited the possibility of
                                             Many of the families living beyond                           household was given a small grant to do
community-wide or municipal sanita-
                                        the 100m coastal buffer zone had lived
tion and drainage solutions in many
                                        on traditional plots, although many did                           The sides of the shelters were then
                                        not have clear ownership titles. Almost                           initially covered with plastic sheeting,
In-country experiences                  all of these families chose to remain on                          which was reinforced by plywood. The
    This project was implemented by their traditional plots of land.                                      work was done by ‘shelter crews’ of
an NGO that had previously worked                                                                         local tsunami-affected youth from the
                                             For those who had lived within the
on transitional shelter programmes for                                                                    communities involved.
                                        buffer zone, the NGO worked with the
                                                                                                               A detached veranda was later
north of Sri Lanka. Much of the shelter
                                          whose plots shelters could be built. In                         added as an upgrade. This could be po-
design and the methods for interact-
                                          three cases, small planned settlements                          sitioned on any side of the basic shelter
ing with the communities and the local
                                          of 15-30 families were constructed,                             and could be used either as additional
government were adapted from this
                                          as close to sea-based livelihoods as                            living space or as a kitchen area. Later,
previous programme.
                                          possible.                                                       guttering and rainwater harvesters,
     Minor changes were made in the
design of the shelter from the previous                                                                   electrical wiring, were added.
                                        usually willing to allow families to
project, giving the shelters greater
                                        construct shelters on their previous                                  As part of a parallel programme,
                                        spots. This deferred ownership issues                             families without latrines were provided
     In the previous programme in the until the time when permanent                                       with materials and technical advice for
                                        reconstruction would start.                                       latrine construction.
living in IDP camps and had limited
                                        Technical solutions                                               Implementation
access to livelihoods. This meant
                                            Shelters needed to be easy                                       Shelter materials were delivered
that they could spend more time on
                                                                                                          upon completion of each stage of the
shelter construction, and were more
                                        participation could be maximised.
inclined to work on each other’s
                                        They also needed to be movable,
shelters. In contrast, the tsunami-
                                        to help people as they moved out                                  blocks for the half-wall, followed by the
affected populations in the south had a
                                        from living with host families or                                 siding materials. However, the timing of
culture of working independently, with
                                        were disassembled to make way for                                 the delivery of second- and third-stage
more diverse livelihoods. This led to
                                        permanent reconstruction.                                         materials was complicated by families
the project running more slowly than
                                                                                                          building at different speeds.
anticipated.                                The basic shelters were made from
                                        box-bar metal frames, which could
                                        be rapidly assembled into the basic                               prepared in the NGO’s warehouse,
     The NGO approached local village
                                        skeleton of the shelter so that even                              while the plastic sheeting was cut to
                                        those with little physical strength or                            measure in a small workshop set up
receive a full list of those in need of
                                        prior construction knowledge could                                by tsunami-affected families in one
shelter. This was then cross-checked
                                        assemble them.                                                    community.
by door-to-door visits conducted by
NGO staff. The cross-checking process
was also used to identify vulnerable
households eligible for support
from NGO technical teams in the
                                                                                                                                             Photos: Jim

construction of their shelter. All the

asked to nominate a small committee
to store the shelter materials and help
                                                                     Site with poor drainage. Not all available shelter sites were ideal.
with their distribution.

B.14                 Sri Lanka - 2004 - Tsunami - Case study: Transitional shelter construction                                                Asia
                                                                    Materials list
                                                                             Material            Quantity

                                          Photo: Colin Heinz-Loya
                                                                    Steel column -                   8
                                                                    40mm x 40mm x 1.85m
                                                                    Steel bracing - 20 mm x          4
                                                                    20 mm x 2.13m box bar
                                                                    Steel purlin - 20mm x            4
                                                                    20mm x 5.7m box bar
                                                                    Steel trusses - 25mm x           4
       Shelters built with tanks for rainwater                      25mm box bar
                                                                    Steel rear side bar -            3
                                                                    20 mm x 20mm x 3.48m
or two shelters were constructed by                                 box bar
NGO staff for the most vulnerable
                                                                    Steel side bar - 20mm x          2
people, as a way of demonstrating the
                                                                    20mm x 5.18m box bar
assembly method to the rest of the
community.                                                          Steel front side bar -           1
                                                                    20mm x 20mm x 230mm
    The longer times taken by many
                                                                    Pop rivet - 3mm x 16mm
families to complete their shelters
meant that the amount of time needed                                G.I. bolt & nut - 75mm x         32
for support and supervision by the                                  6mm and 64mm x 6mm
NGO staff also increased. This in                                   Door (fully completed)           1
turn meant that the NGO was not                                     Door stopper -                   1
able to extend its support into more                                25mm x 25mm x 45mm
communities and caused the initial
                                                                    Hinges -100mm x 75mm             2
forecasts for completed units to be
reduced twice across the programme.                                 Cement (50Kg)                    1
Logistics and materials                                                                              1
    There was an effort to ensure
that the procurement process would                                  Hook bolt nut                   32
support the national economy, while                                 Concrete block - 380mm          210
trying to avoid creating scarcity or                                x 180mm x 100mm
                                                                    Concrete feet for                8
the materials needed for permanent                                  columns
reconstruction. Most materials were
supplied from the south and west of
Sri Lanka, with the exception of the                                    After June 2005, an upgrade
                                                                    veranda extension was made using the
which both came from abroad.                                        following materials:
   There were concerns that the                                              Material            Quantity
                                                                    Pillar plate - 100mm x           4
with demand due to permanent                                        50mm x 250mm
reconstruction. Many of the concrete
blocks supplied for the transitional
                                                                    50mm x 50mm x 200mm
for hazard-proof permanent housing.                                 Tie bars -                       8
                                                                    50mm x 50mm x 125mm
    The supply of sand (for mortar and
                                                                    Wire nails                     1.5kg
for constructing the foundations) also
                                                                    50mm & 75mm
had encouraged the communities to                                                                    4
                                                                                                                                                          Photos: Jim Kennedy

take sand from the beaches, but this                                Umbrella nails                 0.2kg
was counter to government bans and                                  G.I. ridge sheet - 0.9m x        1
also had a potentially negative impact                              2.4m
on the environment. In some cases,
communities were given small grants                                     In July and August 2005, basic elec-
to buy sand from local suppliers.                                   trical wiring (one plug socket and one
                                                                                                               The construction of the shelters was not
                                                                    were added.
LAC           Shelter Projects 2008    C

Latin America

            Hurricane 1998

                       C.2 - C.5
                   Earthquake 2007

LAC                                                                       Shelter Projects 2008                                                                                        C.1

                                                                                                                                                  Land and ownership
                                                                                                                                                      For those families who chose to
                                                                                                                                                  stay near their destroyed home and

                                             Image: Milton Funes

                                                                                                                            Image: Milton Funes
                                                                                                                                                  a transitional shelter on their own land.

                                                                                                                                                  in the ruins of their former home.
                                                                                                                                                     In some other cases where safe

                                                                                                                                                  site, the organisation coordinated with
    Computer model of the timber frame of                                 Computer model of the shelter with a
                               the shelter                             corrugated iron roof and plastic sheeting                                  relocation sites.
The disaster                                                                                                                                      Technical solutions

                                                                                                                                                  timber-framed structure.
historic    amounts      of    rainfall       on
to 1900mm of rain. Deaths due to cat-                                                                                                                Materials for one shelter were

deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history:

                                                                                                                                                  sound frames for the shelter without
                                                                    remained without adequate shelter                                             direction, although they could often

                                                                                                                                                     For the families who needed it,
                                                                    social organisation or other reliable
the worst-affected country, although                                source.
                                                                                                                                                  to assist with construction labour,
Before the disaster                                                 families, according to standard local                                         ensured that the shelter was erected
   Before the hurricane, the organi-
                                                                    Database                                                                          For the most elderly and disabled,
                                                                                                         -                                        all or most of the construction labour
                                                                    tion maintained an electronic database

                                                                                                                                            -      ‘Though it is not a big space,
                                                                                                                                                  it feels like home for me,
                                                                                                                                                  my husband and children’.
                                                                    materials and shelter construction

families in communities under the                                                                                                                 Tegucigalpa

and Choluteca. Disabled and elderly
                                          Photo: Milton Funes

                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo: Milton Funes
                                                                                                            Photo: Milton Funes

           Marking out the site for a shelter                                        Prefabricating walls                                           Shelter assembly using prefabricated walls

C.1                             Honduras - 1998 - Hurricane Mitch - Transitional shelter                                                                                  LAC
                                                                        Materials list
                                                                          In addition to the materials listed              List of tools needed to build 50 - 75
                                                                                                            2              transitional shelters:

                                                  Photo: Milton Funes
                                                  Photo: Milton Funes
                                                                                                                                    Materials               Quantity
                                                                                                                            Hole digger                       10
                                                                        donor organisation.
                                                                                                                            Manual saw                                         10
                                                                                                                            Hammer                                             20
                                                                                  Materials                     Quantity    Tin snips (tin scissors)                           10
                                                                         Timber                                    8        Plumb                                              10
                        Completing the frame                             50mm x 100mm x 3m
                                                                                                                            Tape measure                                       10
                                                                         Timber                                    4
                                                                         50mm x 100mm x 3.6m                                Level                                              10
                                                                         Timber                                    3        Staple gun                                         10
Logistics                                                                50mm x 100mm x 4.3m                                Table saw                                               1
                                                                 -       Timber                                    1        Portable saw                                            5
                                                                         50mm x 100mm x 1.8m
                                                                                                                            Diamond saw blades                                      5
                                                                         Timber                                    6
                                    -                                    50mm x 50mm x 2.4m
ment was made clear to each family at
                                                                         Timber                                    5
                                                                         50mm x 50mm x 4.3m
   A senior staff member based in                                        25mm x 74mm x 2.4m
                                                                         Galvanized roof sheet                     6

                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Milton Funes
                                                                         28 SWG - 0.8m x 2.7m
                                                                         Galvanized roof sheet.                    6
                                                                         28 SWG – 0.8m x 1.8m
Ensuring   that   all    materials    were
                                                                         Nails 100mm                              1.5kg
schedule was challenging.                                                Nails 75mm                               1.5kg
                                                                         Nails 50mm                               1.5kg
                                                                                                                  288                              Covering the roof
                                                                                                                                                with corrugated iron
                                                                         Staples 12mm                             300
                                                                         Diesel (to protect wood                   2l
                                                                         from termites)
                                                                                                                           ‘Through this simple and
                                      Photo: Milton Funes

                                                                         Cement (42.5 kg bag)                   2.5 bags
                                                                                                                           quickly installed structure we
                                                                         Gravel                                  0.18m3
                                                                                                                           have been able to provide an
                                                                         Sand                                    0.15m3
                                                                                                                           intimate family space for the
                                                                         Plywood door / standard size              1
                                                                                                                           victims of the hurricane’.
                                                                         Plywood sheet                             1
                                                                         (5mm x 1.2m x 2.2m)                               - Jose Aleman, carpenter
                                                                         for corner reinforcements
                          Covering the frame                                                                               working on the project
                                                                                                                                                              Photo: Milton Funes
                                                                                      Photo: Milton Funes

                               Although the preferred option was to build shelters on people’s own land, in
                               some cases it was necessary to build shelters on a temporary relocation site.

LAC                                                 Shelter Projects 2008                                                               C.3

                                                                             ‘Once the basic shelters were built,

                                                                                                                                             Photo: Predes
                                                                                                   Materials distributed
   A public kitchen was the basis of            Every selection was to be approved
                                             by the assembly of the kitchen group,                           Materials            Quantity
stage it had 40 groups, each with a des-     which was something like a ‘block                      Bamboo mats                     10 mats
ignated responsible person. Most of          committee’.                                            6 walls, 3 ceiling, 1 door
the groups were led by women. They                                                                  Round poles (for columns)      12 poles
                                             Technical solutions
became the centre of all project activi-                                                            3" diameter, 3m long
                                                 In the coastal regions of Peru there
ties and organised frequent assemblies                                                              Round poles for beams and      11 poles
                                             is a long tradition of constructing semi-
to discuss all aspects of the project and                                                           roof joists
                                             permanent shelters using bamboo. In
take decisions. The whole project was                                                               2.5" diameter, 3m long
                                             the past, immigrants to Lima and other
conducted in close coordination with                                                                                               7 beams
                                             cities have established themselves with
the municipality.
                                             simple structures, leading to the step-                Reinforced plastic sheet      3m x 15m
   Within days of the earthquake,            by-step construction of a formal house.                Nails 2", 3" and 4"             2.2 kg
the NGO was able to present the                                                                     Wire                             1 kg
                                                 While the bamboo mats are not
project ideas to the communities via
                                             considered a formal construction                       Hinges                          3 units
the ‘kitchen group’. Most opted into
                                             material, the climate allows people to                 Lock                            1 units
the project, while some decided to
                                             live in such structures. Many of the dis-
wait for better offers. Some of those                                                              Implementation
                                             aster-affected people had lived in struc-
who opted out were still waiting for                                                                   Every family was responsible for
                                             tures made from bamboo at some time
support eight months later.                                                                        the construction of their shelter. This
                                             in their lives.
                                                                                                   allowed them to make adaptations
based on a list of criteria, including:                                                            dependent on available space, using
loss of shelter, family situation, vulner-                                                         materials that they had rescued.
ability, poverty, residency in the area,
and willingness to build the structure.                                                            visited by the coordinators of the
                                                                                                   community kitchens together with
                                                                                                   somebody from the NGO or the
                                                                                                   municipality to check whether they
                                                                                                   complied with the following criteria:
                                                                                                       People had to be occupiers of a
                                                                                                   house on a plot of a land before the
                                                                                                       Their plot had to be cleared of
                                                                                                   debris in order to place the shelter on it.
                                                                                                       One family member had received
                                                                                                   instructions on how to build and had
                                                                                                   participated in the construction of a
                                                                                   Photo: Predes

                                                                                                   model structure.

                                                                                                   wooden poles and received the mats
                                                                                                   only when the structure was properly
                                                                                                   assembled. Materials were distributed
                                                                                                   by the block coordinators. Most
                                                                                                   families ended up digging a new latrine
                                                                    social mobilisation.           on their property.

C.3                           Peru - 2007 - Earthquake - Community mobilisation                                                     LAC

                                                                     Photo: Eddie Argenal

                                                                                                                                                Photo: Predes
Logistics and materials                                    Building with these materials costs    local market had a limited capacity to
   The wooden poles and woven                          about 25% of what some other local         deliver bamboo mats - an issue which,
bamboo mats were purchased from                        organisations spent on their provisional   in the end, led to the ending of the
local production in the informal                       shelters made of timber or low-grade       project.
market. Plastic sheeting and hardware                  galvanized sheeting. However, the
elements (nails, hinges, etc.) were
centrally purchased.
    The materials were shipped to San
José, where the municipality provided
the football stadium and another
building as storage areas.
    The trucks were unloaded by the
ing NGO organized and was responsi-

                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Predes
ble for the warehouse management.
   The materials were given to the

vouchers issued by the coordinators.
                                                                                                                                Photo: Predes
                                        Photo Predes

C.4                         Peru - 2007 - Earthquake - Self-build transitional shelters                                 LAC

                                                                                                                           Photo: Eddie Argenal
                                          Rubble clearance                                                     Fabricating doors

                                          durability. Some shelters incorporated     Implementation
   Community leaders were initially       reclaimed materials, particularly mud          This shelter project was part of a
                                          blocks and doors. However, higher-         programme that included shelter, cash
                                          value reclaimed materials, such as         for work, sanitation (where destroyed),
                                          timber beams, were often stored by         small grants for businesses and tran-
interviews to validate the selection      families to be used in the future con-     sitional classrooms for schools. The
of each family. Lastly, a community       struction of permanent housing.            cash-for-work project included debris
meeting was held to establish who was                                                removal (employing 100 women for
                                              The basic shelter design was arrived
to be included in the programme.                                                     two months) and payment for families
                                          at by asking three carpenters in an
                                                                                     who could not build for themselves.
     Most families had no formal land     affected community to build a sample
                                                                                     The sanitation project included the
title, so shelters had to be easy to      shelter. Members of the community
                                                                                     repair of destroyed latrines.
dismantle and remove if required.         vetted the shelter design and a pilot
                                          project was then implemented. The             The project was implemented by a
Technical solutions                                                                  team consisting of one project manager
    The shelter provided had an area of
                                          pilot to improve labour productivity
18 m2
                                                                                -    student volunteers, each responsible
The shelter area was chosen based on
                                          tion materials. It was expected that       for the shelters of around 65 families.
Sphere indicators. The shelter itself
                                          the shelter materials would be later
consisted of a timber pole-framed                                                        The project was conducted in close
                                          reused in the construction of adobe
structure with a soil-cement mix as                                                  consultation with the local authorities.
                                          houses (e.g. plastic sheeting used as a
                                                                                     Before distribution of materials could take
                                          water barrier in the clay roof) or that
timber structure and woven reed                                                      place, each family had to clear the debris
                                          the shelter as a whole would be reused
mats were placed on top of the plastic                                               from their damaged house into the street.
                                          as a kitchen.
sheeting to increase insulation and
                                                                                                                           Photo: Eddie Argenal
                                                             Photo: Eddie Argenal

LAC                                              Shelter Projects 2008                                                  C.5

                                          Technical solutions                            All tools needed by the homeowner
    Communities were selected by               The shelter design was a rectan-       to build his/her shelter were supplied
analysing the gaps and noting that no     gular, single-storey, 18m2 (3m x 6m),       by the contractor and were left with
other organisations were working in       wood-framed, shed-roofed building.          the homeowner at the conclusion of
the areas. Families within communities    The side covering was vertical, tongue-     the programme as a home mainte-
were prioritised based on need and in-    and-groove wood. Each panel was ap-         nance tool kit.
dividual vulnerability.                   proximately 1cm thick and approxi-          Implementation
                                          mately 10cm wide. The shelter had one           The initial contract was for 500
                                          door and a large window on one long         shelters. Costs rose 25% for subse-
ownership of land before qualify-
                                          wall (at the front). The roof was a shed    quent shelters, due to local cost esca-
ing for the project. The criteria were
                                          style made with lightweight, corrugated     lations.
later relaxed so that those awaiting
                                          cement panels approximately 1m wide
                                          and about ½cm thick. The roof panels           The contractor set up a materials
wills of deceased family members could                                                manufacturing ‘factory’ in each project
                                          were long enough to run the full width
qualify for the project without holding                                               area. At this site, the contractor’s
                                          isting concrete slabs.                      employees (using some local labour)
    Families who were at risk and
                                              Each house took approximately           units. Only the contractor’s employees
relocated from the ‘no return zone’
                                          eight hours to construct once the           used power tools.
had to wait in temporary shelter on
                                          prefabricated materials were trans-
squatted allocated land for over nine                                                    Families were responsible for
                                          ported to the site. The idea was that all
months before they could be allocated                                                 rubble removal, site cleaning and
                                          materials could be later reused.
land and qualify for a shelter.                                                       marking out the shelter location.

C.5                      Peru - 2007 - Earthquake - Prefabricated transitional shelters                                  LAC

                                                                                       Bill of quantities
                                                                                                 Item               Quantity
                                                                                        Wood                            68
                                                                                        (tongue and groove)
                                                                                        Wood                            43
                                                                                        (tongue and groove)
                                                                                        Wood                            10
                                                                                        (tongue and groove)
                                                                                        Wood                            16
                                                                                        (tongue and groove)
                                                                                        Wood                            16
                                                                                        (tongue and groove)
                                                                                        Wood                            70
                                          volunteers. The rest worked in the            (tongue and groove)
reused, or there was no existing slab,    community, helping with registration,         2.48m to 2.30m
the homeowner was required to             land rights and other emerging issues.        Nails                           1kg
pour one. In some cases homeown-
                                          Safety and Liability                          Wood strips                      2
                                               The contractor maintained control        3cm x 6cm x 3m
tion. Employees of the contractor and
                                          of the cutting and assembly yard and          Wall plates                      3
trained community members provided
                                          its employees, and controlled access to       6cm x 6cm x 2.5m
guidance and oversight for the mixing
                                          hazardous places. Since the contractor
and pouring of concrete.                                                                Hinge, steel 2.5"                7
                                          owned, controlled and supervised the
    Homeowners transported the            operation they were the main liable                                        6 sheets
materials from the ‘factory’ to their     entity.                                       3m x 1m
home. They then installed the tongue-                                                   Instructional manual             1
                                              Each community established a safety
and-groove wall sheeting onto the                                                       Plastic tape                     8
                                          committee that controlled access to
six wall-framing panels. Company                                                        1cm x 15cm
                                          the cutting and framing site, as well
employees and trained community
                                          as the assembly sites. In general,            Screws                           3
members then assembled the sided
                                          community activities were provided
frames (two for the side walls and                                                     One toolkit was distributed per group
                                          for youth and children to keep them
four for the front and back walls) with                                                of workers.
                                          entertained while their families were
assistance from company advisors.
                                          building their shelters.
Families nailed the structures together
and added the doors and windows.          Logistics
                                              By delivering basic raw materials
Quality Control
                                          (rough timber, tongue-and-groove wall
   Supervision and quality control
                                          sheeting and corrugated iron, cement
were done by the contractor’s staff.
                                          panels, nails, etc.) to the building site,
The contractor had one engineer and
                                          logistics requirements were reduced.
one project manager (who supervised),
                                          Warehousing was also reduced, since
                                          non-value-added raw materials took
timber. The homeowners transported
                                          up less space than fabricated material
the prefabricated shelter materials
                                          components. Component costs were
and assembled them on site. The
                                          reduced by directly employing people
only carpentry skill that homeowners
                                          on site to fabricate them. These people
required was the ability to hammer a
                                          did this work as only a part of their
nail and follow connection directions.
                                          salary. Everything was fabricated as
   Monitoring took place through          needed on site and according to speci-
a team of approximately 30 volun-
teers, of whom 15 were active in the      a ‘just-in-time’ inventory system, but
                                          required the hiring of additional skilled
six worked with the contractor on a       staff by the contractor.                         ground) and a shelter walled with reed
daily basis and mobilised community

Historic                                  Shelter Projects 2008                                               D

 Section Studies
 Historical Case
 From the Cuny Archive

                                                                   D.2        Bangladesh
                                   D.3                            India
                             Earthquake 1973                                         D.7
                 D.5                                    D.9                        Thailand
                                                       Sudan            D.6
              Guatemala                                                India,
           Earthquake 1976                                        Andrah Pradesh
                                                                   Cyclone 1977
                                                                                              Cyclone 1982

D.1                Historical case studies - overview - Case studies from the Cuny Center                        Historic

 D.1                 Historical case studies - overview
  Case studies from the Cuny Center
      The main focus of this book has been on shelter responses after the year 2000. However, the loss of housing from

      This chapter includes case studies from the 1970s and 1980s taken from the Cuny Center in Washington DC,

    Although some of these case studies are from responses that took place over forty years ago, many of the issues and
 projects are similar and relevant to those being implemented today.

Need for guidance
                                          efforts must be community-focused
   There are occasional records of
                                          and take into account the community’s                                           -
shelter responses going back to the
                                          own potential for self-help. Secondly,     desh (1973-1975) to argue for shelter
18th century, but concerted efforts to
                                          that above all else, shelter and settle-   responses that helped affected com-
research and develop a best practise in
                                          ment programmes must provide the           munities build back better from day
                                                                                     one, using local labour and materials,
Indeed, the earliest modern guidelines
                                          hygiene and remove public health risks     and supported by locally adapted haz-
for shelter response for any humani-
                                          to the greatest degree possible, as        ard-mitigation construction training.
tarian organisation, dating from 1959,
                                          this was the largest danger to human
                                          life after the occurrence of a disaster    in camps, then the camps would have
cialist and following his advice when
                                          or forced displacement. The develop-       to be community focused, with the
it came to the spacing and grouping
                                          ment of minimum standards for shelter      shelters clustered into small neigh-
of tents in planned emergency settle-
                                                                                     bourhood groups, and with space for
                                          often expressed in numeric indicators,     livelihoods and public activities.
   Post-colonial civil wars, notably
                                                                                         Meanwhile, the development of
in Nigeria and Bangladesh (then East      protect the health and hygiene of those    new materials, such as plastic sheeting,
Pakistan), and a number of large-scale    living in emergency and transitional       and the increasing professionalisa-
                                          shelter and settlements, with limited      tion of logistics and communications
1970s, led to exponentially greater       resources to support them.                 systems in humanitarian response
numbers of forcibly displaced popula-
                                          First camp guidance                        allowed agencies the potential for a
tions and a correspondingly increased
                                                                                     more rapid, wider and larger response.
role for humanitarian organisations in
                                          up by Fred Cuny in 1971, were for          Lead agencies
                                          shelters within the context of planned         By the end of the 1970s and the
designed shelter and settlement pro-      camps, but were based on the under-        various crises in south-east Asia, the
grammes could cause more harm than        standing that the development of a         rapidly increasing number of agencies
good.                                     camp was a process taking place over
                                          an indeterminate length of time. The       with little previous experience forced
    By 1973, NGOs like Oxfam and          guidelines divided the type of shelter     advocates of best practice to change
CARE, researchers like Ian Davis,         response into phases, depending upon       their emphasis, in order to ensure
and consultants like Fred Cuny were       whether the camp was subject to an         that the ensuing chaos was not as big
engaged in developing comprehensive
                                                                                     a disaster as the original emergency.
guidelines for humanitarian response      whether the camp was being maintained      From that point on there would be
and continued practical research into     and services consolidated, or whether      the inception of ‘lead agencies’ from
issues related to shelter. Many of the    the camp was being upgraded and            the UN that were clearly mandated
concepts that are now accepted as         expanded for longer-term occupancy.        with overall coordination and technical
standard practice today derive from
                                              In the face of well-meaning but        guidance. This would be facilitated by a
the research conducted in the 1970s
                                          misguided attempts to create a perfect     decisive change of guidelines emphasis,
by Cuny, Davis and their collaborators.
                                          universal prefabricated shelter and        towards universal, often numeric,
Overarching principles                    shelter design competitions conducted      minimum standards against which all
    The two sets of overarching prin-     thousands of miles from any disaster,      agencies’ performance could be held
ciples in the development of these        it was important for Fred Cuny and         accountable, but which at the same
                                    -     Ian Davis, with the support of various     time ran the risk of failing to take into
nities must be supported in regaining     NGOs and then the UN, to use their         account needs for local adaptation.
sustainable livelihoods, and that all     own experiences in responses to earth-

 Historic                                          Shelter Projects 2008                                                 D.1

    Throughout the 1980s, the numbers                                                  ments and extreme weather conditions
of refugees caught in protracted situa-                                           -    attributable to global warming.
tions increased, while the willingness of   uisite before the start of a programme,       Experiences such as those in Aceh,
host governments to provide options         rather than something that could be        Indonesia following the 2005 tsunami
for permanent resettlement dimin-
                                            become the Sphere Project (www.            the unintended effects of shelter
response of voluntary repatriation as       sphereproject.org).                        responses in accelerating urban
the single preferred durable solution,                                                 migration and extending the sprawl of
                                            Transitional shelter and
and decried camps as the option of                                                     the cities further into hazardous or en-
last resort. Under such circumstances,                                                 vironmentally fragile locations.
                                               At the same time as the Sphere
the focus of those working on best
                                            drafting process, other initiatives gave
practice in the shelter sector started
to pay more attention to the political
aims to which settlements could be
                                            since the 1970s. The shelter process
twisted. This was often based on their
                                            for the affected communities and for
own experiences of witnessing un-
                                            humanitarian organisations is now
sustainable camps being used as ‘pull
                                            seen as having transitional phases, with
factors’ or to house hostage popula-
tions, in places like Sudan or the Horn
                                            response must somehow demon-
of Africa.
                                            strate support for the eventual durable
1990s and Sphere                            solution.
    The crisis in Rwanda in 1994
                                            Urban challenges
gave the impetus to many organisa-
                                                The last four years have seen
tions to capitalise on the movement
                                            moves to widen the accountability and
started in the early 1990s with the Red
                                            predictability in all sectors of humani-
Cross Code of Conduct. This aimed
                                            tarian response through the develop-
                                            ment of the Cluster System. But those
                                            years have also seen greater challenges
standards across all sectors including
                                            brought closer to the spotlight.
shelter, but to also ensure the widest
possible awareness of those standards,         In the last two years, the number of
and the maximum possible adherence          people living in urban populations has
and buy-in among humanitarian or-           reached 50% of the world’s population
ganisations. This was done in the re-
alisation that in complex emergencies       living in hazard-prone areas on marginal
the UN lead agency system could             lands. This is especially relevant with
not always be relied upon to ensure         the potential threat to coastal settle-

   Fred Cuny
      Fred Cuny trained as an urban planner in                   Cuny conceived humanitarian response as centred
   the mid-1960s, and worked professionally with                 upon the affected communities, and serving to
   disadvantaged communities in southern Texas,                  support them in a return to sustainable livelihoods.
   before his experience as a pilot of small planes              He advocated for camp designs that clustered
   gained him a position working with relief agencies            shelters into small communities, shelters made
   during the Biafran War in 1970. Between 1971                  of traditional materials that were built by the
   and 1995, Cuny and Intertect, the consultancy                 refugees, and the training needed to ensure that
   that he set up, worked with NGOs, the UN, and                 those shelters and houses would be built back safer
                                                                 and hazard resistant. Cuny also advocated a holistic
   Through all of these, Cuny sought to develop                  approach to humanitarian response and worked to
   guidelines for best practice and to advance the               combine shelter responses with those for water/
   state of the art in humanitarian response. Cuny and           sanitation, food security, livelihoods and public
                                                                 health. By the early 1990s, he was increasingly
   ever set of camp planning guidelines, contributed             involved in advocating for policy and intervention
   to Shelter After Disaster
   draft of the Handbook for Emergencies. They were also         Chechnya in 1995.
   early advocates for the promotion of minimum
   standards in humanitarian response, through
   guidelines and manuals.

Historic                                                                  D.2

Before the war



                           (and assessment)



                           Land rights / ownership

After war breaks out

                       -                                                       -



                           Technical solutions



D.2               Historic

                          Cuny Center

            Clustered camp plan


D.3                                  Nicaragua - 1973 - Earthquake - Small camp                                       Historic

Before the earthquake                                                                  washing facilities. The latrines were
    Large-scale urban migration during     (and assessment)                            placed outside of all of the shelter
the 1960s had increased the popu-                                                      clusters along the side of the camp.
lation of Managua from 170,000 to          have been self-selected, having moved
                                                                                           The design also took into account
430,000 in the decade before the                                                       the possibility that the camp would
                                                                                       exist into the longer term or would be
houses, with many additional people in     Land rights / ownership                     upgraded into a permanent settlement.
substandard housing. More than 25%             The site was designated as a camp       Space was provided for the installation
of the national population were living     by the government, who also provided        of standard drainage and semi-perma-
in the capital city area.                  support with sanitation and other           nent water and sewage facilities.
    During the last months of 1972         services. The government decided to
                                           rebuild Managua on its original site and
Nicaragua had been experiencing a                                                          The tents were erected by the
drought. As a result, some aid organi-     plan, in theory permitting families to
                                                                                       occupants of the camp, the US Army,
sations were already present in the        return to their customary locations
                                                                                       and the Nicaraguan Boy Scouts, who
country at the time of the disaster.       within the city. By the summer of
                                                                                       also worked together to install basic
                                           1974, the Nicaraguan Boy Scouts,
    Before the earthquake, the site for                                                drainage.
                                           who owned the site, were planning to
the camp had been the grounds for the      bulldoze the remaining shelters and             The extra space needed for the
Nicaraguan Boy Scouts, who retained        evict the last few families.                construction and deployment of the
formal ownership of the site during                                                    igloos also caused some displacement
its use for displaced families. The land   Technical solutions                         of shelters from the original cluster
was already cleared for use and there          Tents were provided by the
were some facilities in place, such as a   US Army within four weeks of the
number of permanent latrines, before       disaster. However, these were seen             One NGO provided camp manage-
                                           as inadequate to last through the rainy     ment support in the form of a reception
families.                                  season.                                     committee to assess the medical and
                                                                                       social needs of or new arrivals. In-
After the earthquake                           After four months, polyurethane
                                                                                       formation was distributed via notice
    With more than 250,000 people          igloos (previously used in Peru in 1970)
                                                                                       boards and a camp newspaper.
homeless, the national government
made the decision to move many of          by international staff using specialised        There was no initial plan for the
the homeless to tent camps near the        machines.                                   delivery or upgrading of some facili-
city or in the outskirts. However,                                                     ties, so the NGOs had to negotiate
                                               Although the internal shelter space
130,000 affected people chose instead                                                  with the government (not always with
                                           of the igloos was larger than that of
to stay with extended family members.                                                  success)to extend water lines into
                                           the tents, the igloos had much lower
                                                                                       each cluster, build shower units and
    All other camps were laid out along    occupancy rates. This was in part due
                                                                                       construct a septic tank. However, the
strict military lines. However, one        to the lateness of the delivery, but also
                                                                                       question of waste incinerators was left
camp, the one at Coyotepe, Masaya,         because the design was not one that
was designed by the NGO consult-           related to standard housing shapes
ant Fred Cuny to be laid out in square                                                 Logistics and materials
‘clusters’ of 16 shelters each, with       not easily extendable or maintain-              Delivery of both the tents and the
the explicit intention of providing the    able, although there were reports of        igloos came at a relatively late stage.
physical structures for community self-    parts of the igloos being broken off to     Permanent toilets previously con-
                                           make materials for other shelters. The      structed on the site were used, but
such a layout concept had ever been        igloos were also criticised for being       other permanent buildings were not. In
implemented and it has provided the                                                    terms of the support and maintenance
basic template for all other cluster-                                                  of the camp, the site was located along
based designs since. The design also
                                           Camp layout                                 a main road 3km away from the town
                                               The camp was laid out using square      of Masaya and 20km from the nearest
lighting and adequate public spaces for    clusters of 16 shelters, with a central
recreation and community activities.       space for administrative buildings and      on the delivery of food and water and
Meanwhile, many of the other camps         social/recreation areas. The clusters       removal of waste solids by truck.
experienced much lower occupancy           were placed so that the camp could
                                           be expanded after the initial construc-              Materials             Quantity
rates and early abandonment of
shelters.                                  tion phase. This would allow the camp        Phase I – Sears Co.              360
                                           to have the capacity for up to 3,500         high-wall chalet tents
   By the end of 1973, the vast            people (700 shelters). The layout            Phase II – Bayer Co.             310
majority of camp residents had left the    was designed to accommodate either           polyurethane igloos
camp, mostly to return to Managua.         community or individual cooking and          Latrines, water facilities,   No data
                                                                                        lighting, also supplied

D.4                                                                                                               Historic
Before the upgrading of the
    Hundreds of thousands of Urdu-
speaking Biharis migrated from eastern
India to what was then East Pakistan
during the partition period of 1948.
During the Bangladesh War of Inde-
pendence in 1971, the Biharis sided

                                                                                                                                  Cuny Center
with the Government of Pakistan.
After the surrender and evacuation
of Pakistani armed forces, the Biharis
were left behind, declared to be enemy
citizens by the new Bangladesh govern-
ment, denied the right to resettle in
Pakistan by the Pakistan government,
and were rendered stateless.
    During the 1972-1974 period, the
Biharis were displaced into camps,
often under force from the Bangladeshi
authorities. A number of those camps
were scattered on marginal lands on
the periphery of Dacca. In 1972, some
NGOs had given shelters or shelter
materials to the camps, but the camp
layouts were often poorly organised,
and the shelters themselves had not
been upgraded since that point.

                                                                                                                            Cuny Center
    In 1974-75, local police forced some
of the Biharis into new camp sites. This
had the initial effect of making NGOs
reluctant to support the camps, in case
they were seen as supporting the gov-
ernment policies. This attitude only
changed after April 1975, after storms                                                       Site plans before and after upgrade
had caused major damage to some
camps.                                     After the upgrading of the
                                           camps                                      (and assessment)
    The Intertect consultancy had been
                                              There continued to be very minor           People were largely self-selected
working with US university research-
                                           technical issues with the structures       by arriving at the camp. All families in
ers on the development of emergency
                                           themselves. These issues, such as the      the camp were eligible for the new
shelter designs and implementation
                                           angle and placement of the windows,
processes since late 1973. In 1975,
                                                                                      satisfaction (and the reasons for any
they were given donor assistance to
                                           However, it was noted that the families    dissatisfaction) were included in the
                                           did little if anything to improve or
After that, Intertect persuaded NGOs
                                           adapt their shelters.                      Members of the consultancy team
working in three different camps to
                                                                                      made further assessments in 1977.
use their designs for shelters, camp          Later assessments showed that
layout and construction processes.                                                    Land rights / ownership
                                                                                          The Bihari camp residents continue
   The aims of the research project
                                           shelters, the A-frame design made          to be stateless (recent rulings give the
had been to design shelters that:
                                                                                      option of Bangladeshi citizenship only
    would be sustainable and resistant     additions. There were also complaints      to later-born generations) and do not
to hazard;                                 that although the A-frame was highly       own the land.
    could be constructed by the            resistant to high winds, it also reduced
                                           the head height.
                                                                                      Technical solutions
                                                                                          Multi-family shelters were designed
in hazard-resistant design through the                                                using bamboo poles, palm thatch,
                                           participation in the design process was    matting and jute rope. The design was
construction process; and
                                           seen in the reduced sense of ownership     that of an A-frame with cross-bracing,
    could be made in large numbers,
                                           or responsibility after occupancy.         which had performed best in strong-
and could be made out of low-cost,
local materials.                                                                      wind tests back in the US.

Historic                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                    D.4

   The shelters built in the camps also

native models were made with varying
lengths and for varying numbers of
     The consultant recognised that
most post-natural disaster situa-
tions generally required single-family
shelters that could be built on each

                                                                                                                                    Cuny Center
family’s plot. But it was felt that in the
planned camps for the Biharis, with
very limited amounts of space, the
multiple-family shelters were appropri-
ate. The same basic design principles
could be used for single-family shelters
if required.
   The layout of the camps was
based upon small U-shaped clusters of

square clusters in some camps. Space
within the U was intended for the use
of women, particularly those observing
purdah. The areas outside the U shape,
along the access routes through the
camp, were intended for use by the
men. In this way, the public men’s area
was also intended to be made available
for workshops or other livelihoods ac-
tivities, and also gave each community

                                                                                                                                  Cuny Center
more control over the public space
nearest their shelter cluster. Washing
and cooking areas were contained
within each cluster.

                                                                                                        Shelter design details
                                                Two prototypes of the shelter were       previously designed in the US were
                                                                                         too cumbersome and too detailed.
                                             of the university/consultant team and
                                                                                            The work teams preferred to
                                             were occupied by refugee families.
                                                                                         be trained verbally, but this slowed
                                             Based on observations of environmen-
                                                                                         down the rate of construction. This
                                             tal issues, minor changes in structure
                                                                                         meant that large-scale production of
                                             were made. After further consulta-
                                                                                         the shelters would be impossible or
                                             tions with camp stakeholders (local
                                                                                         would have to rely on large numbers of
                                             residents), the upgrading was started in
                                             phases, with sections of the camp being
                                                                                         also developed for use in the project.
                                             upgraded in rotation.
                                                It was estimated that it would take
                                                                                         Logistics and materials
                                                                                             The basic materials were provided
                                             a multi-person team two days to build
                                                                                         to the refugees by the humanitar-
                                             one shelter, with different small teams
                                                                                         ian organisations. All materials were
                                             assembled to take charge of different si-
                                                                                         available locally.
                                             multaneous tasks. However, problems
                                             were encountered in instructing the
          U-shaped community block plans     work teams in both the design and the
                                             construction techniques. The manuals

Historic                                          Shelter Projects 2008                                                     D.5

Before the earthquake
    During the preceding decade,
Guatemala City and other urban areas
had seen rapid increases in population,
with many of the new arrivals living
in hazardous areas on steep slopes at
the edges of the city. Even in the rural
areas, many had built their houses out
of adobe, often with heavier tile roofs,
without the inclusion of seismic-resist-
ant features.
    Prior to the earthquake, a number
of smaller INGOs, as well as local
community-based organisations, had
been active in development pro-
grammes (but not necessarily shelter-
related) in the affected areas. While

Spanish, many of those in the rural
affected areas had limited command of
this language and preferred to commu-
nicate in local Mayan dialects.
After the earthquake
   The earthquake struck the Central
Highlands of Guatemala, killing 23,000
people and leaving more than a million
homeless. Some 58,000 houses were
destroyed in Guatemala City and
163,000 in the rural areas.

further hampered by the number of

                                                                                                                              Cuny Center
roads and rivers blocked by landslides.
The emergency response from the US
and other governments was swift, with
5,000 tents transported to Guatemala
City within seven hours of the earth-
                                                                         Sketch showing earthquake-resistant techniques bracing
   As equally rapid as the external         The international NGO in question         Land rights / ownership
response was the rate at which affected     partnered with a regionally-based             Many of the affected population
families started building impromptu         NGO that already had ongoing pro-         were squatters in peri-urban areas
shelters themselves. Around 50,000          grammes in Guatemala (it was im-          who often built back on traditional
                                            plementing the earthquake shelter         sites with no guarantee of tenure.
hours of the disaster. Although this        programme), in order to accelerate        At least one researcher involved in
meant that much of the affected popu-       programming and ensure incorpora-         the programme counselled against
lation were quickly under shelter, it led   tion of local knowledge.                  wholesale rationalisation of the street
to a rapid increase in the price of cor-                                              systems in those areas, because it
                                                                                      would mean depriving many families of
There were additional concerns that             Four affected rural areas were
                                                                                      their customary plots. Land holdings in
this would cause scarcity for the re-       assigned to the NGOs by the national
                                                                                      rural areas may also have been tradi-
construction effort and cause the           government. A partial registration of
                                                                                      tional for the most part, but this issue
materials to be too expensive for many                                            -
                                                                                      was not as acute in those areas.
of the affected people.                     menting partner and the fact that local
                                            cooperatives were already present in      Technical solutions
                                            the area. In some areas there were            In light of the scale of the self-build-
of the disaster many organisations                                                    ing of shelters, the NGOs in question
                                                                                      made a decision to support these
personnel to the disaster. The govern-      when others appeared with free dis-       efforts by distributing construction
ment was generally unable to enforce        tributions or other attractive options.   materials, supported with technical
coordination between organisations.                                                   training.

D.5                    Guatemala- 1976 - Earthquake - Materials distribution and training                              Historic

                                                      At the beginning of the programme,    the programme. The choice of the
                                                  a total of 67 separate recommenda-        materials that were distributed and
                                                  tions for seismic-resistant features      resold through the cooperatives was
                                                  were drawn up by a consultant for         also geared towards seismic-resistant
                                                  the NGO as the basis for the training     construction.
                                                  programme. The intention was that
                                                  even if not all of the recommendations
                                                                                            Logistics and materials
                                                                                               The corrugated galvanised iron
                                                  were followed, the house would still
                                                                                            sheets were imported from El Salvador.
                                                  be substantially safer. There was some
                                                                                            Some 95,000 sheets were bought and
                                                  disagreement, as some NGO staff
                                    Cuny Center

                                                  thought that the list of recommenda-
                                                                                            six months of the programme. Funds
                                                  tions was too comprehensive and was
                                                                                            recovered from the resales were even-
                                                                                            tually used to expand the operation.
                                                  Some thought that a smaller number
                                                                                            Construction materials were sold
                                                  of recommendations might support a
                                                                                            through local, pre-existing cooperative
                              details                                                       societies. This was intended to raise
   The programme had six key pillars:                The NGO created four different
                                                  model houses, although the families       of those cooperatives, but concerns
    Salvage materials from destroyed
                                                  eventually built a wider range of         were voiced a few years later that this
or damaged homes;
                                                  adapted designs. A booklet was also       had ended up overstretching their ca-
    Use indigenous materials (apart
                                                  developed and over 100,000 copies
                                                  were eventually distributed as an
    Mount an extensive educational
                                                  element of training programmes.
    Build a model house in each                   Implementation
community using techniques (such as
the introduction of timber and barbed-            with information and training on seis-
wire bracing) that would ensure safety            mic-resistant construction, using local
the next time;                                    materials and technologies (demon-
    Use the model house as a focus of             strated by the model houses). But the
further educational activity;                     responsibility for the design and for
    Distribute the corrugated galva-              reconstruction remained entirely with

prices through the cooperatives.
                                                     The local cooperatives distrib-
    Construction materials were sold
                                                  uted the corrugated galvanised iron
at subsidised prices to ensure that the
                                                  and other materials and also become
people had a true need of the materials,
                                                  the focal points for the training pro-
to reduce the sense of dependency and
to spread meagre budget resources to
a wider population. There were limits                 In many affected communities,
to the amount of each article that                model houses were built using local
each family could buy, in order to limit          labour, as directed by the NGO and
hoarding or speculation.                          in coordination with village master
                                                                                                                                 Cuny Center

                                                  craftsmen. Once these craftsmen,
   A full set of housing materials,
                                                  masons and carpenters had been
                                                  trained they were then employed
build a whole house, was sold through
                                                  to train a series of apprentices while
the local cooperatives. But the main
                                                  working on the reconstruction of the
material, which was imported and dis-
                                                  houses in the community.
sheets. The thicker 26- or 28-gauge                   Unfortunately, many of the trained
sheets were preferred over the 30- or             masons found better-paid jobs in the
35-gauge sheets. (Note: With standard             cities and left the rural work pro-
wire gauge and corrugated iron sheet,             grammes. Eventually, a local company
the higher the gauge, the thinner the             had to be engaged and supported
sheet.)                                           to take on the work for that part of

D.6             India - Andhra Pradesh - 1977 - Cyclone - Materials distribution and training                           Historic
Before the cyclone
   The affected population was pre-
dominantly rural, farming rice and
keeping livestock to supplement their
income. The affected areas were all
low lying and were intensively culti-
    The vast majority of the popula-
tion lived in houses made of tradi-
tional materials. Common materials
were bamboo and palmyra leaf thatch
(made from a certain type of palm
tree). Before the cyclone there had

                                                                                                                                 Cuny Center
houses ‘pukka’ - made using reinforced
concrete. Pukka housing was also
preferred by much of the population
and displayed a higher social status.                                            Safer shelter techniques - strapping columns to beams
    Some of the faith-based and local      to do so. There was also pressure from         day to tend their farms.
organisations that were involved in the    the government and from international
                                                                                              Tensions rose over the course
emergency response had been working        donors (and from within some organi-
                                                                                          of the response, due to the different
in the area since at least 1969. Many of   sations) to start construction imme-
                                                                                          levels of support given to communities
the larger international organisations     diately, using outside contractors or
                                                                                          affected by the tidal wave and those
were new to the area.                      non-local volunteer forces if necessary.
                                                                                          affected by the high winds. Additional
After the cyclone                              It was recognised that the tidal           tensions arose between communi-
    The cyclone created two different      wave had left dangerous levels of              ties who had made agreements with
areas of damage: an area damaged by        salinity in many of the communities’           different aid organisations, which had
a six-metre tidal wave that travelled                                                     different types of programme method-
as far as 24km inland at its furthest      need was to recover what was left              ologies.
point; and an area damaged by high         of the previous rice crop, and then
                                                                                               The NGO initially targeted the most
winds reaching over 270km/h, all along
                                                                                          vulnerable members of each village for
a 50km stretch of coastline.
                                                                                          the materials distribution, asking the
                                           the large labour force needed for the
   In the areas affected by the wind                                                      local Rotary Club to work with the
                                           immediate construction of concrete
alone, many of the materials from                                                         villages to select 20 of the most vul-
                                           housing would divert efforts from the
the destroyed houses were still lying                                                     nerable households from each village,
                                           agricultural efforts and, in doing so,
nearby. About 90% of the surviving                                                        according to agreed-upon criteria.
                                           block long-term recovery. Therefore,
population very quickly built their        a two-pronged strategy was advocated           Land rights / ownership
own shelters using this material and       and involved:                                      Affected communities were aided
removed the need for ‘emergency’                                                          on their customary locations, although
shelter support.                                                                          some agencies constructed shelters in
                                           own reconstruction, and on a schedule
   In the areas affected by the tidal                                                     the early stages of the emergency in
                                           of their own choosing, through the
wave almost all of the original housing                                                   grid patterns near the affected villages,
                                           distribution of materials and technical
materials had been washed away, so                                                        without full consideration for land
                                           support; and
the survivors were in need of shelter                                                     ownership questions. By December
                                               encouraging the adaptation of
materials.                                                                                1977, the local government was
                                           the reconstruction schedule to the
   The local government distributed        agricultural calendar.
                                                                                          the towns or cities at the beginning of
poles and palmyra thatch during the                                                       the emergency should be strongly en-
                                                                                          couraged to return to their villages and
in later. The NGOs had started pro-            Lack of capacity by the local govern-
                                                                                          not remain permanently in the towns.
gramming in the health and medical         ment, combined with the large number
sectors, but quickly changed their focus   of newly created organisations looking         Technical solutions
to shelter.                                to help and ‘adopting’ random villages,            Basic kits of traditional materials
                                                                                      -   were distributed to the communities.
   The local government requested          atic. Selection was also made more             It was recognised that in some cases
that the humanitarian organisations        complex by the fact that some commu-           distribution would have to be timed to
construct pukka housing for all ben-       nities were displaced into local towns         take into account both the agricultural
                                           or large villages, but were still travelling   work cycle and the time needed to
funding to all organisations who chose     back to their original locations every         cure the bamboo for construction.

Historic                                            Shelter Projects 2008                                                                      D.6

                                                                                                              The architect hired by the NGO
                                                                                                          felt that because parts of the roof had
                                                                                                          actually blown off, this had reduced the
                                                                                                          internal wind pressure and had saved
                                                                                                          the larger structure of many of these
                                                                                                          types of houses during the cyclone.
                                                                                                              Direct implementation was done by

                                                                              Cuny Center
                                                                                                          the families themselves, with technical
                                                                                                          assistance from local carpenters. The

                                                                                                          shelter quality and for any adaptations
                                                                                                          of their shelter. The NGO, and later
                                                                                                          ARTIC, provided technical information

                                                                                                          local carpenters, the development of
                                           Shelter design elevation showing cross-bracing                 booklets and posters, and in one case
    The initial construction efforts        consultation with the various organisa-                       the production of a short play to impart
were evaluated three weeks into the         tions, but also produced booklets on                          important construction messages.
programme. Based on the evaluations,        safer housing construction for local                          Logistics and materials
improvements and additions were             distribution.                                                    Similar sets of materials were initially
made (cross-bracing and the protec-                                                                       provided by the local government in
                                                The design of the model house that
tion of the housing posts below ground
level) in the guidelines and prototypes.                                                                  delivery was taken over by the NGOs,
                                            was square, with a pyramid-shaped roof
    Based on the interest of a wide         of a 45-degree slope to be both wind-                         and was augmented with the materials
range of shelter actors and the local       resistant and to allow water runoff                           (bamboo, metal straps) necessary to
government, an Appropriate Recon-           from the palmyra thatch. A ring beam                          make the shelters cyclone resistant.
struction Training and Information          and aluminium strips to bind the joints                       One of the arguments for delaying the
Centre (ARTIC) was established              were added to the cross-bracing. The                          reconstruction was that the materials
to give advice and conduct evalua-          wooden posts were treated for infes-                          used in traditional construction were
tions for the various ongoing shelter       tation and rot and were sunk 1m into                          strongest or best for use as construc-
programmes. ARTIC was funded and            the ground. The palmyra thatch was                            tion materials. In the case of bamboo,
supported by a loose consortium             attached to the roof using traditional                        this would have needed to be bought
of major INGOs and local partners.          sewing methods, despite the sewing                            some weeks in advance and then cured
ARTIC not only worked directly in           materials’ lack of great strength.                            before use.
                                                                                                          Materials list
                                                                                                              The following list shows the main
                                                                                                          materials provided and the ones that
                                                                                                          were of most value in the construc-
                                                                                                          tion of adequate and cyclone-resistant

                                                                                                               Wood posts
                                                                                                               Bamboo bracing
                                                                                                               Wood roof frame

                                                                                                               Metal binding straps
                                                                                                              Plastic sheeting (used to protect
                                                                                                            wood posts below ground level)
                                                                                            Cuny Center

                                                                       Connection detail

Historic                                                                                             D.7

Before the opening of the camp


                                                                   for Emergencies



                                     Land rights / ownership                                              -



                                     Standards manual



                                                                   Logistics and materials

                                                                   Materials list

After the opening of the camp



Historic                                           Shelter Projects 2008                                                   D.8

Before the cyclone                          Small Projects                              Land rights / ownership
   Tonga consists of 170 islands, 36            The implementing organisation,
of which are inhabited. Approximately       in cooperation with the Government          built back on their customary land.
two-thirds of its population of 95,000      of Tonga and a major internation-
                                            al donor, started their programme
                                                                                        Technical solutions
people live on one main island group.                                                        The villages were left to decide
                                            three weeks after the cyclone. The
    Tonga is exposed to a number of                                                     whether there were any proposals
                                            project was intended as a form of
hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruption                                                 for which they would like to apply
                                            ‘Quick Impact Project’. It was called
and tsunamis) of which cyclones are                                                     for funding. Staff worked with the
                                            the Small Projects Disaster Assistance
the most common, striking once every                                                    villages to prepare the actual technical
                                            Programme and had a shelter and set-
1.6 years on average. Cyclone Isaac                                                     proposals.
                                            tlements focus.
was declared by the Tongan authori-                                                        Responsibility for all construction
ties to have been the worst disaster            The uneven speed of progress in
                                                                                        and for the construction quality of the
in Tongan history, in part because of       the completion of some projects meant
                                                                                        Small Projects was left explicitly to the
the magnitude of the destruction of
housing, public buildings and livestock     the end of June the following year. The
(95% of livestock were killed in some       Small Projects programme was already             Because most villagers were
places), but also because of the pro-       on the ground before the emergency.         able to quickly build basic shelters,
portion of damage caused to the more        The consultants employed to create a        and because they were applying as a
heavily populated island of the capital     shelter strategy were also involved in a    village, the proposals were often for
city, Tongatapu.                            broader project of disaster mitigation      communal facilities in the village, or
    The emergency response was con-                                                     the shelter and settlement recovery as
strained by the large number of islands,    Disaster mitigation strategy
                                                                                        a whole. These included restorations
the dispersed nature of the popula-             For some time prior to Cyclone
                                                                                        of village fences, showers, kitchens
tion and limited communications. It         Isaac, the same international donor
                                                                                        and toilets, as well as community food
emerged after the cyclone that there                                                    gardens. Other projects, not directly
had been no comprehensive govern-           of a shelter-focused disaster prepar-
                                                                                        related to shelter, included the resto-
ment disaster mitigation or disaster        edness study for all of the anglophone
                                                                                        ration of poultry units, water tanks and
response programme in place.                                                            a wind tower.
    Repeated cycles of disaster and         direct reference to the cyclone and a       Disaster mitigation strategy
short-term emergency response had           draft was released in April 1982. This          The consultant realised that most
contributed to a lack of disaster-          then informed studies for the other         traditional houses were built and main-
preparedness and disaster-mitigation        islands. The consultant continued to        tained incrementally by the families.
planning. The repeated disasters had        work with the same donor and with           Outside support, whether it was
both forced resources to be used for        research organisations until 1984 to        materials or information, often arrived
emergency response and had damaged          produce guidelines for other South          while the recovery and reconstruction
the local population’s capacity for self-                                               process was already underway. The fact
reliance.                                                                               that this process was often ongoing
    Public buildings were designed                                                      when Tonga was faced with the next
                                                Small Projects The size of many
using seismic and cyclone codes from                                                    disaster led the consultant to develop
                                            small islands and the prior stationing of
Australia and New Zealand, but these                                                    a series of illustrated information
                                            the implementing organisation’s staff
were not applied to private housing.                                                    booklets that advocated:
                                            allowed information about the Small
The modernisation of some of the                                                            self-reliance     and     self-build
                                            Projects programme to be delivered
housing stock in the prior decade had                                                   techniques for the affected families;
                                            to each community by word of mouth.
also seen many houses built with badly                                                      use of traditional techniques and
                                            Villages made proposals as a whole and
                                            each village’s proposal was assessed by     locally available materials;
After the cyclone                           the implementing organisation. The              last-minute strengthening measures
    Relief agencies and the armed           national government was informed of         applicable to both transitional and
forces of Australia, New Zealand                                                        permanent housing; and
and other countries worked quickly          to each village were made during the            the incorporation of hazard-
to bring food supplies, medicine and        projects to monitor for quality and         resistant measures into the repair
other support to the affected popula-       speed of progress.                          of disaster-damaged housing, as few
tion. The largest immediate concern                                                     houses were torn down and built anew
                                                While it was designed primarily for
was the widespread destruction of                                                       from scratch.
                                            the Government of Tonga, the strategy
livestock and crops. While 1,000                                                            The guidelines had to take into
                                            for disaster mitigation and prepared-
tents and tarpaulins were delivered in                                                  account the wide range of hazards
                                            ness was also intended to be accessible
                                                                                        that were possible in Tonga. The main
                                            to the country’s entire population.
already started the rebuilding process.                                                 guidelines concerned strengthening

D.8                                Tonga - 1982 - Cyclone Isaac - Disaster mitigation                                           Historic

                                                                                                    The site was visited and the proposal
                                                                                                    was checked to ensure that it answered
                                                                                                    a cyclone-related problem, was within
                                                                                                    a maximum of US$ 5000 and met
                                                                                                    other criteria.

                                                                                      Cuny Center
                                                                                                        A clear agreement on the division of
                                                                                                    responsibilities was drawn up between
                                                                                                    the organisation and the village. The
                                                                                                    organisation was to procure the
                         Tieing techniques                          Bracing techniques              materials, while the village would pick
                                                                                                    up the materials from the local depot
                                                                                                    and would take responsibility for con-
                                                                                                        One challenge involved ensuring
                                                                                                    that the villages understood what the
                                                                                                    materials would be used for. This issue
                                                                                                    became more central in villages where

                                                                                    Cuny Center
                                                                                                    the leadership structures were not
                                                                                                        Disaster mitigation strategy
                                                                                                    The studies and the illustrated guide-
      Preventing uplift due to strong winds        Preventing uplift due to strong winds            lines were made available to the
                                                                                                    Tongan government. Other consult-
                                                                                                    ants developed similar illustrated
                                                                                                    guidelines that were published as sup-
                                                                                                    plements in a local newspaper.
                                                                                                    Logistics and materials
                                                                                    Cuny Center

                                                                                                        Small Projects In some of the
                                                                                                    small projects, the NGO was able to
                                                                                                    ask a village to show how much con-
                                                                                                    struction material they already had and
                                                                                                    were willing to use in the project. The
                           Lateral bracing                  Wind resistance techniques
                                                                                                    resulting project budget was then used
                                                                                                    to meet the shortfall.
                                                                                                        In some projects the implementing
                                                                                                    organisation was not able to survey
                                                                                                    the available construction resources
                                                                                                    beforehand and they therefore made
                                                                                    Cuny Center

                                                                                                    a more comprehensive budget. Some
                                                                                                    materials (e.g. timber, thatch) could
                                                                                                    be sourced locally, but many other
                                                                                                    materials had to be brought to the
                                                                                                    different islands, making projects
                                                                                                    longer to implement. The implement-
                                                                                                    ing organisation was able to buy scarce
against both cyclones and earthquakes,        reducing damage, repair and upgrading.                materials duty free at the government
focusing on the binding of roofs to wall                                                            store, which saved an estimated 27%
                                                  The graphics guidelines were also
posts and the binding of ring beams                                                                 in costs.
                                              accompanied by other documents that
and reinforcement of joints.
                                              focused on the setting up of permanent
    The guidelines included the               disaster preparedness capabilities
planting of bushes in front of houses         within government structures.
                                                                                                                                          Cuny Center

to protect them from objects blown
by high winds. The most important
                                              Implementation - Small
element was the realisation that post-            Proposals for each project were
disaster mitigation measures would be         received on a rolling basis; approval
implemented both before and after             took about three weeks in each case.
repeating disasters, as part of a cycle of                                                                      Use of diagonal bracing

D.9                                                                                                                    Historic

between the Ethiopian government
pendence for the provinces of Eritrea
and Tigray since the 1970s. Many

combined with drought across many
countries in Africa to create a major
famine. There were no early warning
programmes or adequate stockpiles
until after September 1984.

been supplied into Tigray from Sudan.

                                                                                                                             Cuny Center/UNHCR
By mid-1984 the Relief Society of
Tigray, a national civil relief organisa-
tion, stated that the famine had reached
crisis levels and that they would lead
Tigrayans out of Tigray and into Sudan,
where they could receive aid.
     Initial camps in Sudan were
sometimes located adjacent to the                                                                                       Block plan
sites of older permanent refugee set-
                                                                                         arrivals from each village.
tlements. In early December 1984,
it was realised that there were not              There was no selection per se. As           This cluster, block and sector
enough water resources for these             the refugees arrived in the camps in        hierarchy was derived from the
camps. A decision was taken to look          more or less intact village groups, it      Handbook for Emergencies, which had
for sites that would support larger          was possible to work with the village       been made available two years before
numbers of refugees. Even then, not          leaders and social structures to identify
all camps had adequate clean water for       vulnerable members.
many months. Waterborne disease,             Land rights / ownership                         As the main emphasis was placed
alongside measles and malnutrition in            There were no permanent land            on water supply, sanitation and the
new arrivals, became the chief cause of      rights given to refugees. In fact, the      logistics of food and medicine, the
death in the camps.                          government of Sudan insisted that           basic shelter was often a traditional
    Although the Sudanese had                new refugees would not be granted           tukul tent made out of branches,
welcomed hundreds of thousands of            permanent residency.                        although there were some distribu-
refugees for resettlement from Ethiopia      Technical solutions                         tions of other shelter materials. The
over the previous two decades, the               Once decisions had been made to         government’s insistence that the
                                             transfer some of the refugees from in-      camps were to be short term often
fact that Sudan itself was suffering a       adequate camps, the new camps were          prevented the use of any more durable
drought, caused a reversal of policy in      set up following a hierarchy of blocks      shelter materials, even if the resources
the Sudanese government. Even when           of buildings. This started with a cluster   had been available.
this decision was overturned, the gov-       of shelters based on the size of each       Implementation
ernment indicated that they did not
                                                                                             The Relief Society of Tigray would
                                             be grouped together to form a block         often lead the Tigrayans into Sudan in
long term.                                   that would follow the size of a single      entire village groups. In some cases,
                                             village. A number of blocks would form      the society would also participate in
    NGOs began searching for suitable        a sector of a camp.                         the transfer of groups from one of
sites for new camps. Between April               Importantly, the number of clusters
and June 1985, 55,000 refugees were          in a block was not predetermined, but       better facilities.
able to return to Ethiopia. But this still   was dependent upon the number of            Materials
left 258,000 new Ethiopian refugees in
                                                                                             Pressure from the Govern-
eastern Sudan, in addition to 120,000
                                                                                         ment of Sudan meant that use of any
Chadian refugees in the west of the          services such as health units and sup-      ‘permanent’ materials was avoided.
country, 700,000 ‘old’ Ethiopian             plementary feeding centres were de-         Although there were distributions of
refugees and increasing numbers of in-       centralised throughout the camps.           plastic sheeting, many of the refugees
ternally displaced Sudanese.                 Space was left in each block for late

Historic                                     Shelter Projects 2008                                              D.9

lived in self-built tukul tents, made from
tree branches, grass thatch and cloth.
    Access to the camp helped with
logistics. The most important paved
highway in Sudan, connecting Port
Sudan with Khartoum, ran through the
camps areas. A major train line also ran
adjacent to the highway for part of the
time, and airports capable of handling
large jets or C-130s were available at
towns used as logistics hubs.
    Most materials had to be imported
using UN mechanisms, apart from in-
dividual shelter materials scavenged by
the refugees. During the emergency,

                                                                                                                 Cuny Center\UNHCR
there were some severe delays in the
provision of materials, but these were
caused by poor pre-planning, lack of
stockpiling and internal organisational
issues, as much as by lack of physical

                                                                                                           Sector plan

                                                                              ‘[The design] had several major
                                                                              advantages. First, it enabled the
                                                                              relief agencies to train a cadre of
                                                                              health workers from each village.
                                                                              In the event that people decided
                                                                              to return to Tigray (which many
                                                                              of them did several months after
                                                                              arriving in the camp), the skills
                                                                              and training the workers had
                                                                              acquired would be taken back
                                                                              to the village with them. Second,
                                                                              it provided camp administra-
                                                                              tors with a simple way to reunite
                                                                              families. When anyone entered
                                                                              Sudan, they simply had to tell
                                                                              the relief authorities what Ti-
                                                                              grayan village they were from;
                                                                              they could be transferred to the
                                                                              camp where the people from
                                                                              that village were located. Family
                                                                              dled on a self-help basis. Finally,
                                                                              camp administrators were pre-
                                                          Cuny Center/UNHCR

                                                                              sented with an intact community
                                                                              organization with which to work,
                                                                              facilitating activities which re-
                                                                              tion of the refugees.’- Fred Cuny
                                                     Camp plan

Annex   -

                                                      Shelter Projects 2008                                                   Annex

  Further reading
 Key shelter-related documents
 The home page of the project to establish clusters as a coordination mechanism. Includes the Emergency Shelter Cluster and Early
 Recovery Cluster home pages, which contain further reading on the cluster approach as well as on technical issues.

 Up-to-date information on complex emergencies and natural disasters, as well as an archive of information, field reports and
 situation reports from emergencies since 1996.

 1. UNDRO Shelter after disasters
 2. Transitional settlements
 3. Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced.

Corsellis, T. and Vitale, A. (2005). Transitional Settlement: Displaced Populations, Oxfam Publishing, United Kingdom.
Guidelines aimed at strategic planners and implementers of settlement responses. Considers settlement options for displaced populations.
Available online: www.shelterlibrary.org

IFRC/Oxfam (2007). Plastic sheeting: A guide to the specification and use of plastic sheeting in humanitarian relief.
A guide to the use and specification of plastic sheeting in humanitarian operations.
Available online: www.plastic-sheeting.org

Norwegian Refugee Council/The Camp Management Project (2008). The Camp Management Toolkit.
A comprehensive field manual for camp management agencies and stakeholders involved in camp operations.
Available online: www.nrc.no/camp

The Sphere Project (2004). The Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.
Sets out what people affected by disasters have a right to expect from humanitarian assistance. Includes shelter and settlement
planning, with standards, indicators and checklists.
Available online: www.sphereproject.org

UNDRO (now UN/OCHA) (1982). Shelter after Disaster: Guidelines for Assistance.
Guidelines and description of shelter provision in all aspects of natural disasters, from preparedness to reconstruction.
Available online: www.sheltercentre.org (www.reliefweb.int/library/documents/2003/undro-shelter-jul82.htm)

UN/OCHA (2008). Transitional Settlement and Reconstruction after Natural Disasters, field edition.
Guidelines aimed at strategic planners and implementers of settlement responses. Considers settlement issues for people affected by
disasters as well as assitance methods to support them in their reconstruction.
Available online: www.shelterlibrary.org

UN/OCHA (1998). Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
Identifies the rights and guarantees for the protection of internally displaced people. Relevant to forced displacement and protection
and assistance during displacement, as well as during return or resettlement and reintegration.
Available online: www.shelterlibrary.org

UNHCR (2007). Handbook for Emergencies, UNHCR, 3rd ed.
A managers' guide to setting up emergency operations for large-scale influxes. Provides advice on how to tackle various aspects of the
emergency response.
Available online: www.unhcr.ch


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