practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

Myanmar relief shelter workshop


A reciprocal frame bamboo shelter workshop will be held on 26th and 27th February 2015 at the Yangon Regional Red Cross Office.

On Thursday 26th February the Myanmar Red Cross will hold a shelter training day at which they will build shelters based on the Reciproboo Shelter Kit (RSK).

On Friday 27th February from 9am throughout the day there will be an open demonstration of the shelters to all other organisations and interested individuals in the shelter sector . This will be an opportunity to see a new method of relief shelter construction.


Yangon Regional Red Cross Office,
YCDC Training Yard,
Corner of Aung Thapyay and Padauk Street,
Mingala Taung Nyunt Township.

shaunvet @hotmail.co.uk
or tel : Myanmar 09973305239

We understand that the bamboo varieties in Myanmar are more flexible than other countries and we anticipate this will present a new challenge to reciprocal frame roof shelter construction. When using only 4 poles in a near horizontal plane, it is ideal to have very rigid bamboo poles. Until we start to build a roof we do not yet know how well this will work with the tarpaulins. It will be important to maintain the same high levels of strength and efficiency that we have achieved with bamboo shelters so far. We are looking forward to the challenges that this workshop will present.

Myanmar has huge reserves of bamboo. It is also a country that has a history of being hit by devastating cyclones. We anticipate that the building concept behind the reciprocal frame roof will enable communities to build their own simple, but exceptionally strong, emergency shelters when needed.

This is not a method that we advocate to use "instead of" traditional shelter construction but an option to use during the special circumstances of a disaster when the RSK has certain advantages over vernacular construction.

Some specific advantages for Myanmar:

1. The emergency shelter uses requires only 7 bamboo poles.

In Myanmar, there is always a delay between initial demand and the supply of pre-cut bamboo. Better still would be a preparedness scheme where 7 dry bamboo poles could be held by each family (or a community stockpile)

2. The shelter is lightweight and easily carried.

In Myanmar familes are often displaced to higher ground by floods and this could be invaluable.

3. The shelter has a roof that can support heavy insulation, making it cooler.

In Myanmar where temperatures can exceed 40 degrees centigrade, a drop in temperature of 10 degrees can significantly reduce dehydration in vulnerable individuals.

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