practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

Thousands displaced in Kashmir as 400 villages flooded

How can the RSK help?

Remaining near your property, land or livestock for security reasons is something that people are often determined to do in a disaster situation.

In addition as people are often displaced to the nearest high ground near their property we should accept this and make provision for it in future.

Kashmir has bamboo resources and if the community were to keep just 7 bamboo poles for each family they could each build a Reciproboo Shelter Kit (RSK) at times of flooding.

Often the high ground that people relocate to is just a crude embankment, totally unsuitable to pitch a tent, but ideal for an RSK.

The RSK roof can support heavy foliage cladding so even a tarp is not essential, and the 7 poles can easily be carried if the family has to be moved.

In addition the RSK has the following advantages over tents in this type of disaster:

a. No special fixings are required, the poles can simply be cross lashed together using local materials such as sisal or jute.

b.The ability to clad the RSK with available foliage makes it cooler than any tent. If the disaster was in winter it can support insulation or use its natural flue aperture for a stove ( or in severe emergency risk of hypothermia make use of an open fire).

c. The RSK can be erected in minutes and changed to a storm profile if needed. Unlike a tent it can be built on sloping terrain and be adjusted to irregular spaces if needed.

Disaster preparedness of communities and proactive shelter provision with RSKs in regions that suffer recurring floods should certainly be considered in future.

"Thousands of people have been forced to leave their houses and take shelter at safer places as the flood furry continues across Kashmir Valley with no let up in the rains for the fifth day on Saturday, officials said. With nearly 400 villages of the Valley inundated by unprecedented floods, the residents from many of these villages have moved to safer places, leaving behind their homes and belongings as water level continues to rise due to incessant rains, the officials said"

" Residents in many areas are reluctant to leave their houses due to apprehensions about security of their property, making the task of the rescue teams difficult, the officials said "

Full article: http://bit.ly/1uAVA16


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