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Month: February 2011

Involving community in Construction and Maintenance of Flood SheltersAdvice

I work for ActionAid International in Bangladesh as DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness ECHO) Project Manager. The objective of the project is to “Enhance Disaster Preparedness among Communities and Institutions in Bangladesh”. One of the major activities of the current project is construction of Community Based Flood Shelters. The shelter would be built in one of the river islands where thousands of residents are displaced due to flooding of the Yamuna River.

For this project we want incorporate learning from similar work that has already been done by different agencies and incorporate the lessons. Also, this is an action research initiative and after the project we will publish a strategy paper on construction of Flood Shelters. This will be relevant to other countries especially India. In view of the above, we request members of the Disaster Management and Water community to advice on four very critical issues of:

  1. What are the criteria that must be kept in mind for site selection? (Like height of the site, type of soil, infrastructure etc.).
  2. What are the concerns of vulnerable groups like children, disabled and women, especially for drinking water and sanitation, and what steps that is to be taken to ensure that these are adequately addressed?
  3. How can the Community participate in and contribute to the design and construction of shelters? Also, what are the essential facilities needed to ensure proper care of the community?
  4. What Steps must be taken to maintain and use the shelters round the year? Is there a possibility to work on a revenue model where the shelter generates some kind of revenue which can be used for its maintenance and upkeep? (Please share any experiences of Post construction maintenance practices)

Members are also requested to provide any reference documents on this issue. We sincerely hope that the complete report of our study will be a good reference for humanitarian agencies across countries. Contributions from the Solution Exchange Community will be acknowledged in the strategy paper.

Thanks and best regards…

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