In Focus Shelter Rutal - IOM - International Organization for Migration

in Focus: IOM’s Shelter Approach in
Areas Difficult to Access
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a major player
in providing humanitarian shelter. IOM continues to increase its role
in the Global Shelter Cluster leading or co-leading approximately 1/3
of Shelter coordination mechanisms worldwide. Since 2005, IOM has
implemented Shelter and NFI projects in more than 40 countries. Over
the course of 2014, IOM distributed NFIs to 557,000 families, supported
220,000 families to build a new home, repaired 58,000 houses and
delivered cash assistance to 63,000 families.
Pipal Danda
Following the Earthquake in Nepal, IOM sent a surge team of
emergency response experts to support IOM’s existing staff of over
400 people. IOM is the national cluster lead for Camp Coordination and
Camp Management, and has assumed district cluster lead for Shelter in
Sindhupalchok, on the districts most affected by the earthquake.
IOM’s shelter response will prioritize the most vulnerable and those
likely to be unreachable by road during the monsoon season. In
particular, IOM will prioritize villages with poor road access which are now blocked because of the earthquake as they will
have less coping mechanisms in place, village without any a road as well as those whose track road is normally washed out
for more than two months. IOM will work closely with social mobilizers, the District Development Committees and District
Disaster Rescue Committees, and local partners to carry out shelter initiatives in these areas. In the next three months, IOM
plans to IOM aims to deliver efficiently and effective shelter support to 52,000 families
On 6-7 May, an IOM engineering team assessed the villages of Syaulebazar, Piaidanda and Kunchowk in Sindhupalchowk
district, where they met the local authorities and the citizens. In the framework the assessment missions, IOM sought to
evaluate the damage to shelters in areas difficult to access outside the Kathmandu Valley. Discussions with local populations
have shed light on the need to extensively provide shelter kits and relief items before the monsoon season.
Most of the damaged structures were made of bricks or stones without mortar. With no structural columns, the shelters
were not stable enough to withstand the earthquake’s vibrations, and the heavy roof materials of slate and sliced stones,
exacerbated problem.
In the visited villages, multiple families are living in small groups with salvaged wood, bamboo, and corrugated galvanized
iron (CGI) from their destroyed houses. Many need to stay close to their agricultural land which they depend on for food for
survival. As interim solutions, families have constructed stand-alone sheds or have put CGI horizontally with the edge on
the top of one agricultural terrace, with framing underneath, for extra support. Most of these sheds are far below SPHERE
standards for space and are not waterproof.
To improve living conditions, IOM is looking to reinforce standalone structures made from salvaged materials including CGI,
wood, bamboo, by ensuring walls are closed on all side with a door. In other cases, IOM is placing CGI on top of agricultural
terraces to reinforce shelters. A frame is then constructed under the CGI sheeting using wood and bamboo. Quite often this
version is open on one side with one wall being the vertical wall of the terrace. A tarp is placed on the existing structure to
ensure it is waterproof, and the additional CGI enables the household to benefit from additional space.
Based on the assessment, IOM has noted the need for CGI sheets with a thicker gauge to support shelter construction as
this material is more durable and earthquake victims are familiar using it. As CGI sheets are a relatively light material, IOM
can deliver by hand when trucks are unable to reach. The DDRC officials in Sindhupalchowk also expressed his preference
on shifting shelter distribution from tarpaulins to CGI sheets.
To prevent the CGI sheeting roof from being blown away by strong winds, metal brackets will also be provided to fix CGI
sheets to timbers. Timbers and bamboo will be used as supporting structural materials, wherein IOM will distribute bamboo
while timbers will be sourced from the community forest. Other required items such as ropes and nails will be provided by
IOM to families.
Kirshna Shrestha lost his house made of stone, 26 gauge CGI sheets, slate,
and bamboo. Immediately after the earthquake he made a shed from CGI
and salvaged wood to shelter his family one nine. In October, he had put
on a new 26 gauge CGI on his house with slate on top where the roof was
facing the wind.
He said that the village had 130 households and he noted that 14 people in
his village were working overseas.
Many of his neighbours houses were also destroyed. They are living
collectively in quickly fabricated sheds using salvaged CGI, wood and
bamboo. 60 people were sheltered in a construction of 16.5x7 (0.52 m2 per
person), 15 people in a 5x5 shed (0.6 m2 per person) and 22 people in a
10x4 shed (0.55 m2 per person). This is far below the recommended Sphere
standards for shelter, set at 3.5 m2 per person.
During the conversation, a crowd gathered and talked about building
materials. They stated that they lack bamboo even though they have
access to community forest.
The top priority remains CGI. Priority 2 is wood and bamboo and priority
3 is money.
Type A shelter construction where an
agriculture terrace is used as a wall
When asked about how they would help vulnerable community members
who could not build back themselves, there was a consensus that those
with physical means would support those less fortunate.
Salvaging useful material from rubble in Sindhupalchowk
CGI lies at the heart of current needs for shelter before the monsoon season arrives. There are four or five large CGI
manufacturers in Nepal. All currently have excess production capacity. The CGI domestic sales model follows the car
dealership model. Producers sell to wholesalers, who are located in Kathmandu. Kathmandu wholesalers work with dealers
in municipalities, each selling a specific brand. There have not been reports of trade at the VDC level so far.
Reports show that 26 gauge CGI appears to be the most popular type. It has been available with most dealers, even if some
sellers did not have material available. Prices range from NPR 6,000 to NPR 4,500 for a total of 72 linear feet. A total of seven
quotes from dealers have been collected to date. IOM is collecting data on more dealers on a daily basis in order to maintain
an understanding of the local markets.
The government has a role in setting the price of CGI and the process of understanding this role better is ongoing. Price
increases are supposed to be linked the new fiscal year which, in Nepal, happens in July.
778 households are living in two wards located in
Pipal Banda Village Development Committee. All
the houses in the villages were destroyed except
for three made with concrete pillars. These three
households had relatives sending remittances from
Kathmandu or the Middle East.
The community suffered many deaths and remains
in a state of shock. 42 people were killed in the
village. In the picture, a grandfather and father
are wearing white clothes to morn their lost family
members. When asked about the future, their
response was: ‘we are not thinking’ [now]. After
some reflection, one father said ‘we will put on tin
sheets and stay for the monsoon and winter’.
They will not be able to invest much time in rebuilding their shelter because they are busy in the fields before the monsoon
season begins. Many people do not want to leave their community and will pool resources to buy CGI from Chowtara to
supplement the CGI they have salvaged.
It will take at least one to one and a half years build back their homes the way they had before. They want to build houses
only one story high so that they are more resilient and safe. While building a house with pillars would be a goal, it would
take at least five years to gather the resources to do so. Labor rates in Village Development Communities for housing
reconstruction have been collected with technical workers receiving approximately NPR 800/day and unskilled workers
receiving NPR 500-600/day.
A man walking with his two daughters
carrying CGI from Chautara, approximately
seven km away. They purchased nine
pieces of eight feet 26 gauge CGI for 5200
rupees. They didn’t know which gauge to
buy but were told that this is the kind they
should buy. They negotiated a loan from a
neighbor to buy the CGI.
Multiple families reported buying CGI
both pre-and post-earthquake through
borrowed money. This money is loaned
in six month cycles with the first month
accruing a five per cent interest rate, the
following four months at two, and month
six at five per cent again incentivizing the
recipient to pay back the loan by the end
of month five.
Type B shelter construction with four
walls built using non waterproof
Dipendra Barati just finished his house in Kunchowk VDC last year. He had a five foot foundation and 1 foot thick rock walls.
The work was very precise and the house was still standing although significantly damaged. He is not sleeping in it. His CGI
had wind-bracing and he used umbrella nails in the construction. In order to pay for the house he had worked in Kathmandu
for 4 years as a driver.
Raju Thapa from Jaudada Ward 1 in Kunchowk Village Development Committee took the CGI from his old house and
fabricated an emergency shelter which resembles an animal shed. He originally bought the CGI through a loan from a local
Type B shelter construction building four walls and a roof. Where CGI is old or has holes, or cardboard is used, shelter
improvement consists on using tarps to make the roof waterproof