- Improving Indoor Air in Rural Bangladesh: Results of Controlled Experiments – Author: Susmita Dasgupta, Mainul Huq, M. Khaliquzzaman, and David Wheeler
In rural Bangladesh, Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is dangerously high for poor households dependent on biomass cooking fuels. Based on earlier World Bank research, controlled, scienti fi cally monitored experiments were conducted in Burumdi village, Narayanganj District, to test the effects of structural arrangements and ventilation practices on IAP. Findings suggest optimal structural choices and village-level measures to reduce IAP exposure.
For more details please follow the link below:
- Post-Cyclone Sidr Family Shelter Construction in Bangladesh
Cyclone Sidr, a category four cyclone with a 200-240 kilometers per hour wind speed, hit coastal Bangladesh on the 15th November 2007. This caused extensive damage across 30 southern districts and affected 8.9 million people. It had a death toll of 3,406 with 871 missing and over 55,000 injuries. The total number of damaged and destroyed houses was 1,522,077 of which over 564,967 houses were totally destroyed and 957,110 houses were partially damaged. Within a week after the cyclone, many development and humanitarian agencies together with the Government established the Shelter Coordination Group or the Shelter Cluster. An Early recovery Assessment was carried out (within three months) followed by the Early Recovery Action plan, which emphasized the need to build Transitional or Core Family Shelters and to assist in repairing the houses. To date, around 5% of the shelter need has been supported by building Core and Transitional Shelters. The 12 most severely damaged districts out of the 30 affected districts were focused for shelter interventions and have mostly been covered by various types of shelter intervention. This shelter gap was mainly covered by house repair assistance from the Government and some agencies in the form of the distribution of a cash grant and of shelter kits comprising tools and materials. Almost two years after cyclone Sidr, many of the Shelter Working Group member agencies have completed their shelter programme, some of these are still on the ground continuing their effort and some are raising more funds to carry on more family shelter reconstruction programmes to cover the unmet need.The Shelter Working Group estimates that out of the 200 listed members; around 30 active member agencies reported their activities and assisted in the relief effort at different phases, with various types of responses such as cash grants and loans, repair, renovation and construction assistance. The families who received houses from the shelter working group member agencies were selected in terms of their vulnerability (women headed households,elderly, disabled, widower etc.) as per the early recovery mandate. The local government played a key role for coordinating with the implementing agencies and in allocating designated work areas, whilst the agencies also verified the places themselves. However, there were complaints about the government and few agency assisted shelter providers on the quality of houses or the quantity of materials received and also on discrepancies in the household selection process. Some agencies ensured documentation and monitored the process at each household level to make owners aware of what products or assistance they were receiving and when. But this good practice was rare as the local implementing partner agencies were sometimes over stretched to deliver shelters rather than to mobilize the community to ensure that they know their rights and to participate in their own house building process. Building houses for those living outside the tidal surge protection embankment and those without a land of their own was a key challenge. Most of the aid agencies avoided responding directly as it involved working through a bureaucratic and legal process. This was considered time consuming within their short-term post-disaster programme funding time frame and the donor demand. Some of them indirectly facilitated the process by encouraging people to relocate themselves in a safer location inland. Despite the pressure to ‘build back faster’ in the post disaster context, some agencies did manage to ‘build back better’ within the donor driven demand by having a dialogue with and advocating the rights for the most vulnerable landless coastal population. The Government of Bangladesh continued their pre-existing response to provide barrack style, combined row houses for the landless population. Overall, environmental considerations like green belt and embankment protection or the provision of water sanitation facilities were often ignored in order to provide a durable shelter within the limited budget. However, money and resources were spent by few agencies who often did not consider the tidal surge and flood protection issues for a durable water sanitation solution. Risk reduction initiatives such as advice on planting bigger trees away from houses to avoid house damage or the implementation of safe sanitation practices were considered by very few agencies. The provisions of water for the household or at the community level were not prioritized by many agencies, although some did provide various types of communal water facilities.
For more details please follow the link below: