NGO permanent housing 10 years after the Gujarat earthquake: revisiting the FICCI−CARE Gujarat rehabilitation programme

The January 2001 earthquake that struck the state of Gujarat in India damaged or destroyed some 8,000 villages and 490 towns. In the months and years after  the  earthquake,  many  organizations  undertook  widespread  reconstruction programmes.  One  such  collaboration  between  the  NGO  CARE  India  and  the  Federation  of  Indian  Chambers  of  Commerce  and  Industry  (FICCI)  built  5,554 permanent houses as well as schools and community centres in 23 villages. This paper revisits 10 of the 23 villages that were partially or fully rebuilt by FICCI−CARE, 10  years  after  the  earthquake.  It  finds  that  while  the  houses  remain  structurally  strong and are mostly in use, residents’ levels of satisfaction, perception and usage are  mixed.  A  central  theme  concerns  the  initial  prioritization  of  seismic  safety,  which  has  sacrificed  longer-term  considerations  of  comfort,  adaptability  and  the  environment. The paper describes the houses that were built and presents findings according to structural condition, engagement in design, adaptations, house selling and perceptions of safety. The discussion presents four issues that emerge from the findings  and  wider  research.  The  paper  ends  by  proposing  a  simple  equation  for  good housing, which places people’s involvement in building processes as the vital component.

Source : Environment & Urbanization Copyright © 2012 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

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