Initially a permanent house with latrine and kitchen was promised, but no one in the village knows what happened.
‘ I had to spend 5,000Taka to get my name in the list. If I waited longer, I could have had a better house built by other agencies, like my neighbours got. I was also told that I will receive a 1 lakh taka house, with a latrine but this house costs 40,000 taka and I had to add extra materials on my own expenses’
Government Housing for the Landless Photo 1: ‘Abashon Prokolpo’ with income generating opportunity (Source: Taraqual Islam Bhuiya /UNDP). Photo 2: Contractor built housing with communal sanitation facilities, Mirzaganj 2009. Photo 3: Housing built outside the embankment got damaged by tidal surge of cyclone Sidr, Patharghata 2007.
Transitional versus Permanent Owner-built or Agency built Agency Responses
‘ We had to spend from 10,000Tk-80,000 Tk, by taking loans from many different agencies to prepare the relocation land.
This agency helped us to build a permanent brick house worth 1 LakhTaka, of which 10,000Tk is from our own pocket, some of us decided to move to a safer ground. But now we are worried how to repay these loans.’
- Shah Poran Village Community, Mirzaganj
Photo 5: A Landless woman is receiving Khas landownership documents from land registry Office at Kalapara, Patuakhali. ( Source: Action Aid) A Landless woman is receiving khas land ownership documents from land registry Office at Kalapara, Patuakhali. A portion of landless people who received Khasland are Standing in front of Land registration office at Kalapara, Patuakhali. Permanent settlement of khas lands for 107 landless families, while they are living and waiting in their temporary shelters. Advocacy for Khas land by Action Aid Bangladesh
‘ I’m afraid that the thinner CGI Sheet we provided for the walls will be used for veranda when people extend the house. And it might cause the same problem of roof flying away and injuring people during cyclone’.
Owner’s Response Now I have changed the look of the ‘relief house’ to a home, as my daughter is getting married soon. I hired carpenters and worked myself with the children to turn the veranda into an extended room and add a kitchen on the side . I had to bring the shelter materials by myself with my two children, as the agency delivered them to a common collection point and provided me the money to hire transport. The RCC pillars were so heavy to carry even from the nearest road that for the next two days I was laid with back pain and could not move.
‘ I am happy with this durable house, although the it is not complete, I can finish it slowly and can add a latrine myself later.’ – A Core House Owner
‘ I received this timber frame structure from an agency and added the CGI sheet walls and a veranda myself from the salvaged materials. I’m not sure how to put on windows, as the house gets quite hot now. I’m afraid to take off any of these wooden cross bracings, to put windows on the wall. As I fear that my house might fall down or it might break the structure, which is quite strongly attached together. The NGO ‘s staff explained its importance to me, I also added the cross bracing in the veranda which I believe will make my house strong for the next cyclone.’
Lack of clear reconstruction policy and design guidelines from the government or the Shelter Working Group
Contractors- delay and availability
World Economic Recession
Top-down Challenges: Programme Design: ‘ We are given a prescribed design from the International Agencies to implement. Our opinion are too late to be heard as they started the procurement process already, so the Bill of Quantities cannot be changed’ - Partner NGO staff Donor Demand: ‘ According to the donor, our proposed shelter design was too permanent in nature, as it had cement pillars. Even a year after the cyclone, we had to revise the shelter design to make it more transitional. I wish we could say no to their demands, but we couldn’t as people need some sort of a shelter.’ – NGO staff
National Post Disaster Reconstruction Policy and Guidelines to be developed with various options of family shelter assistance in consultation with house owners, donors and shelter providers.
National Housing Policy for the landless population : Settlement planning for the landless should be an ongoing process involving the government, agencies and the landless families.
Legal advocacy work should continue for land rights of the landless marginalized families .
Donors need to have tangible The donors and the central government should prioritise contingency planning so that agencies together with local government and the communities are well prepared to respond effectively from recovery to reconstruction phase.
commitment to implement the ‘build back safer’ strategy into action and to lead a flexible process to accommodate various types of shelter assistance options (not only ‘transitional shelter’ measures) with flexible timeframe.
Define and set a benchmark and timeframe for types of shelter responses - Core, Transitional or Permanent.
Communities and agencies themselves should understand the hazard resilient shelter construction practices through field research and technical training.
Structural calculation of various types of core houses should be done to measure cyclone and tidal surge resilient capacity by engaging academic institutes and structural engineers who have experience of working in non-engineered rural construction.
Post-Cyclone Sidr Family Shelter Construction in Bangladesh: A Documentation of Plans and Processes 2007-2009 Available in UNDP Bangladesh website: http://www.undp.org.bd/projects/prodocs/DRF/Post-Cyclone Sidr Family Shelter Construction in BGD _Final version.pdf Thank You, Rumana Kabir, Bangladesh, 24 th January 2011 Email: email@example.com