Rebuilding for a better urban future

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

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VIDEO: Training local carpenters to build disaster resilient shelters

Rebuilding after disaster is a crucial period in which communities can reinforce their shelters and prepare for future risk. But in many cases, without sufficient funds, skills and experience, self-recovery methods often turn towards ‘building back worse’.

After Typhoon Haiyan, communities began to quickly rebuild their homes with limited skills and know-how of disaster risk reduction construction methods. In order to strengthen guidance on affordable and safer shelter, UN-Habitat in partnership with Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and Iloilo People’s Habitat Foundations Inc. (IPHF), conducted a 3-day workshop for 58 carpenters and masons from 32 communities in Roxas on “Practical and Affordable Disaster Risk Reduction Measures for Self-builders”.

See related article: Building skills to rebuild communities

Update: See a letter of appreciation from the Social Housing Finance Corporation to UN-Habitat


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Mapping out the future

COMMUNITY MAPS Local officials and community leaders present UN-Habitat with detailed maps of damages caused by Typhoon Haiyan

As UN-Habitat’s Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Response team makes its way across the severely damaged terrain left in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, affected communities are coming forward with their own personal damage assessments.

Forty-two maps drawn by hand by several barangays (communities) across Iloilo province in Region VI of the Philippines detail each home in the community, the extent of damage, and other landmarks in the area. Their supporting visuals and first hand accounts have been instrumental in UN-Habitat’s damage assessment, which will form the basis for implementation of coming projects and programmes.

“The process encourages local and community ownership of the assessment results”, says Reneiro Flores of UN-Habitat.

UN-Habitat has been actively surveying disaster affected areas and interviewing local officials and communities to understand the scope of the devastation. The maps will be vital in helping UN-Habitat assess the needs of each community. “The tool is location-specific and damage-category specific. It provides a detailed assessment of the situation and needs”, says Flores.

UN-Habitat will continue working with affected communities to provide critical support and technical expertise on building back safer shelters and settlements.



For additional photos of maps from other communities, please visit our photo gallery.

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“79 per cent of survivors have started to rebuild or repair their homes, but half of those cannot complete construction without assistance and nearly two thirds are using salvaged construction materials that are often of insufficient quality.”

The Shelter Cluster describes the urgent need to support typhoon survivors and avoid homes from being “built back worse”. Full article here:

Self recovering typhoon survivor

SELF RECOVERY A Typhoon Haiyan survivor gathers materials for rebuilding, but salvaged construction materials are not sufficient to withstand future disaster scenarios.