practical shelter innovation for disaster relief

SEEDS Asia Myanmar bamboo reciprocal frame shelter build.

SEEDS Asia is an international NGO working towards environmental management and disaster risk reduction.

On 3rd March 2015 at Myanmar Engineering Society, Yangon members of Myanmar SEEDS Asia built their first bamboo reciprocal frame (RF) shelter.
Although this was the first time the team had experienced working with bamboo the results were impressive.

The team is now proposing to build the larger double elevated reciproboo shelter kit (DERSK) structure as part of their community outreach program. Demonstrating the shelter to communities will be an educational exercise in an alternative method of shelter constuction.

SEEDS Asia are also working on Disaster Risk Reduction in Myanmar and the bamboo RF shelter opens exciting opportunities in this respect. The RF shelter can not only be used as a simple kit for disaster preparedness but also as a larger temporary structure for a family to live in while rebuilding their permanent home.

At present the government policy in Myanmar is to build wooden frame houses after a disaster. However, it has been shown that families prefer to return to their communities and build their own houses. The double elevated reciproboo shelter kit (DERSK) provides a transitional shelter that meets this need. It provides a dignified living space of over 20 square metres in a simple kit that is easily disassembled and moved as required. Furthermore the RF structure uses 33% less bamboo than traditional shelter frames and costs less than US$40
(this includes a standard relief tarpaulin).


SEEDS Asia team complete elevated bamboo RF shelter


Cutting bamboo frame and digging holes for bamboo posts


lashing bamboo RF roof poles together on the ground


Roof frame lifted into position on posts


attaching first bamboo mat to roof frame using strips of bamboo

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