Sri Lanka: the owner driven housing project





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Uploaded on Jan 23, 2009

Tsunami operation in Sri Lanka the owner driven housing project, a community recovery and reconstruction partnership.

The tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in December 2004 was indiscriminate in its impact people from all backgrounds were equally affected.

But while the tsunamis impact knew no boundaries, for organizations like the Red Cross Red Crescent, building back required careful consideration. People with very different needs and expectations required houses with very different uses and functions. It was evident very early on that no one method would fit all.

Owner driven housing an approach that closely involves home owners in the building process through the issuing of a series of small grants has proven a huge success both for the International Federation and partner, UN Habitat, as well as for programme participants.

Owner driven housing gives the resident the opportunity to decide what they want, The donor doesnt come with a standard design and say this is what we are giving you. Instead it works the other way. People have the freedom to build the house they want to their own taste.

The International Federation is working with tsunami survivors, contributing to the building of more than 1,200 houses in Sri Lankas south and east. Each house built needs to meet minimum standards such as having a bathroom, kitchen, and a lockable room after that owners can decide to follow standard building plans, adjust them or go with their own design.

Owners may decide to build the houses themselves or engage local contractors to do the job. Funds are released based on owners reaching agreed milestones along the way, such as completing the foundations, then the walls, then the roof, etc.

In addition to receiving funds from the Red Cross to build their homes, each household also receives a grant, equivalent to 200 Swiss francs, which goes into a bank account managed by the council. With these funds, councils prioritise infrastructure projects to benefit the whole community and help lead their recovery.

Community projects vary according to the needs in each location. Some projects involve the construction of wells or water storage tanks, others may be upgrading of an access road or construction of a community centre. The Red Cross Red Crescent also provides training and advice to councils on waste water treatment and solid waste management practices, which are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

More information: http://www.ifrc.org/tsunami

Duration: 22 minutes 11 seconds
Year: 2008


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