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Roxas: Building skills to rebuild communities

Roxas, 11 Mar 14

While national and international assistance to the Philippines supports the relief efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan by distributing shelter emergency kits, running emergency centres and setting up transitional shelters, members of the affected population rebuild their homes, in most cases, without sufficient funds, skills and experience.

Some families lack the resources to obtain high quality construction materials, and barely have the means to engage skilled carpenters or masons to carry out the construction. Carpenters sometimes only have limited skills and often lack know-how and experience on disaster risk reduction requirements. Without proper guidance on practical and affordable safe construction, this self-recovery often turns towards “building back worse”.

In order to strengthen guidance on affordable and safer shelter UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and Iloilo People’s Habitat Foundation Inc. (IPHF), conducted a 3-day workshop for 60 carpenters and masons from 32 communities in Roxas on “Practical and Affordable Disaster Risk Reduction Measures for Self-builders”.

The workshop introduced several technical alternatives that could be applied on various types of shelters using different materials such as timber, bamboo, or industrialized products like concrete, hollow cement blocks, and corrugated galvanised iron sheets.

Participants actively engaged in discussions, visual assessments of damaged houses in neighbouring communities and in the “hands-on” exercises supporting each other in learning how to use locally available and affordable materials such as bamboo. At the end of the 3-day workshop, Mr. Dante Madello, Mayor of Panay, congratulated UN-Habitat and partners on this successfully conducted event, and requested UN-Habitat to further support carpenters and masons in Roxas on building back better and safer shelters.

To watch a video on the carpenters in action, click here.

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