THE local arm of international NGO, Habitat for Humanity, has launched a building program in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand governments, in the hope of providing durable homes for over 80 communities ravaged by February’s Tropical Cyclone Winston.
The Build Back Safer project will encompass affected communities in the provinces of Ra, Tailevu, Ba, Bua, Cakaudrove, Lomaiviti and Lau, areas cited as urgent for necessary housing solutions.
“Although many are starting to rebuild as they receive materials through the Government’s Help for Homes initiative, the lack of access to construction expertise in communities could result in the construction of vulnerable homes,” noted HFH Fiji’s national director, Masi Latianara.
“HFF Fiji aims to coincide the delivery of the BBS program with the delivery of the Help for Homes materials. This training will build the capacity of homeowners to use simple yet effective construction techniques that will help strengthen their homes,” he added.
Under the program, community representatives undergo three-days of BBS training, which covers theory and practical basic construction techniques that include foundations, strong joints, strapping, bracing, roofing and the selection of safe building sites to reduce structural vulnerability.
“The idea is to multiply the effect of this training by increasing the capacity of key people within each community that can provide appropriate advice in the reconstruction of homes within their own communities,” Latianara said.
As a model, a Habitat core house will be constructed under BBS training. Two hundred of these performed well at the height of TC Winston in the Rakiraki – Tavua corridor.