Rebuilding for a better urban future

The official blog of UN-Habitat's response to Typhoon Haiyan


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On-site Assessments in Capiz for Potential Shelter Project Beneficiaries

Rogie Alcazaren and family and the remnants of their home—in which they still reside.

Rogie Alcazaren and family and the remnants of their home—in which they still reside.

On 20 and 23 June, technical assessments were conducted in Belle Village HOAI (Home Owners’ Association Inc.) community in the municipality of Pontevedra, Capiz.  Ninety-five households submitted applications for  reconstruction assistance.  UN-Habitat technical team visited each household to assess the extent of the damage, to check lot boundaries, and to interview the applicants about their current living conditions. While some applicants temporarily live with relatives outside the community, many continue to live in their damaged homes after having done some repairs themselves with salvaged materials. Many of these  repaired houses had not been built back safer and were found to be unsafe and unlikely to withstand future typhoons. In the case of Rogie Alcazaren in Belle Village III, his house was heavily damaged. Despite that, his family (with seven children) had no other option but to continue residing under their now slanted roof and whatever else was left of their house.

Unable to remove the coconut tree trunk that struck their house during Typhoon Haiyan, a doughnut seller and his son continue to live in perilous conditions and are potential project beneficiaries.

Unable to remove the coconut tree trunk that struck their house during Typhoon Haiyan, a doughnut seller and his son continue to live in perilous conditions and are potential project beneficiaries.

Ms. Alcazaren in a makeshift kitchen with a half-exposed wall on one side and a slanted roof overhead.

Ms. Alcazaren in a makeshift kitchen with a half-exposed wall on one side and a slanted roof overhead.

In Belle Village II, due to its low-lying location and lack of proper community infrastructure, footpaths to the houses are swampy, substantially compromising mobility for people. Improvement of community infrastructure such as drainages and paving the common foot path were identified as urgent issues.

Swampy footpaths  in Belle Village II, Pontevedra, compromise the mobility of people and the expedient delivery of goods and services. Photo by Edver Francisco.

Swampy footpaths in Belle Village II, Pontevedra, compromise the mobility of people and the expedient delivery of goods and services. Photo by Edver Francisco.

So far, out of 2,430 families in 20 HOAI communities from 10 Barangays in Capiz and Iloilo Provinces, 331 families have submitted their applications to UN-Habitat and initial technical assessment and verification of potential beneficiaries were completed at 240 sites. Work is ongoing, and follow-up visits are required to help the HOAIs prepare their final list of qualified beneficiaries.

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UN-Habitat and Local Partners Collaborate on Design for 610 Resilient Homes in Capiz

UN-Habitat Project Manager Robert Deutsch and Shelter Expert Chrispin Ojiambo at a design meeting with UAP members  Emmanuel Espino, Al Berdugo, and Edver Francisco.

UN-Habitat Project Manager Robert Deutsch and Shelter Expert Chrispin Ojiambo at a design meeting with UAP members Emmanuel Espino, Al Berdugo, and Edver Francisco.

As part of the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlement Project funded by the Government of Japan, UN-Habitat will be building 610 houses in  around 30 communities in the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo.  As the project operates using a community-driven approach, it also includes the training of local skilled workers on construction methods for building strong shelters, as well as the repair and improvement of key community infrastructure such as drainages.

Design of the shelters was developed in collaboration with  the Capiz chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) while the structural integrity was checked by the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines.  The design is now being finalized even as  technical site assessment and beneficiary selection are ongoing.

Study models of the wooden roof structure.

Study models of the wooden roof structure.

The house provided by UN-Habitat will be a core house—a strong and safe shelter measuring 4.2 by 5 meters which can be incrementally expanded in the future.  Its structural framework is reinforced concrete with a collar beam. The lower walls are made with hollow concrete blocks, while the upper walls are from bamboo infill panels.

The structure has a four-sided hip roof built with a single wooden truss crossing the structure diagonally and supporting other rafters. The design incorporates DRR features such as reinforced attachment of structural elements and can resist
up to 200-km/h wind loads.

3-D rendering of a typical core house shelter to be provided to the beneficiaries. Illustration by Al Berdugo.

3-D rendering of a typical core house shelter to be provided to the beneficiaries. Illustration by Al Berdugo.


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Support from people of Japan to empower Haiyan-affected communities

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The Government of Japan has announced that it will support UN-Habitat’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines with USD 2.5 million for the construction of houses for more than 600 families.

Apart from rebuilding the houses, the main outputs of the project include rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged small community infrastructure for 8 communities; improvement of economic opportunities through skills development in the communities including training of over 250 carpenters and masons, and training of 2000 families on basic house safety assessment.

IMGP1445The project targets affected families with special needs and sensitivities within underserved communities in the province of Capiz, where typhoon affected families lack the resources to obtain quality construction material and do not have the means to engage skilled carpenters or masons to build their resilience. UN-Habitat will work with the Social Housing Finance Corporation to ensure sustainable project implementation.

In order to strengthen communities and train carpenters on building back safer, UN-Habitat will implement project through its known people’s process, mobilizing the affected communities to take decisions on their recovery and build self-resilience.

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UN-Habitat has long been involved in post disaster recovery projects, where the underlining principle has been to place affected people at the center of the implementation process. The “People’s Process” has been strongly supported by the Government of Japan which has become a major contributor to UN-Habitat’s post disaster and post conflict projects in Asia and the Pacific.

UN-Habitat appreciates the support from the People and the Government of Japan for the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the Haiyan affected areas.