Habitat Observatory

    Bamboo Eco-Housing Project in Nepal

It is a social housing project that was supported financially by Global Environmental Facility- Small Grant Programme (GEF/SGP) and INBAR. The project was implemented in Kanchanpur district, the Western Terai region of Nepal. The main target group of the project was "Kamaiya" recently liberated bonded labour.

RES Nepal, an NGO, is an implementing agency for the project. Bamboo houses were pre-fabricated by Himalayan Bamboo (INBAR affiliate) in Hetauda who acted as a sub-contractor of RES Nepal. INBAR provided an in-house training regarding pre-fabricated bamboo house construction at the premise of Himalayan Bamboo. The company has already supplied 18 pre-fabricated houses and the project has been successfully concluded in December 2005. The prefabricated bamboo house consists of 9 panels. Each panel is made with flattened bamboo in wooden frame. Flattened bamboos are woven to the both sides of wooden frame in such way that the inner parts of the bamboo are exposed towards the exterior of the wall.

The prefabricated panels are then assembled in the light concrete foundation made with stone and concrete with about 40-cm depth. After the assembly of the panels in the foundations, all the walls are plastered with cement mortar. The roof consists of Zinc tins that were secured with bamboo trusses. All the bamboos and woods were treated with vacuum pressure method using CCA for wood and 3% Boron solution for bamboo poles and flattened bamboo.

The total area of a house is about 30 square meters. One house costs around US$1000.00.

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    Eco-latrines, a step towards safe life

In the district of Yssela, Sicuani, of Srilanka the inhabitants were devoid of the toilets and so they were facing the resentment of going to the fields, and to add to their suffering they, even the ladies of the house has to use the field regularly. A step towards decent life was much expected by these inhabitants.
Practical Action, Srilanka took a step to solve the problem. They are helping the families to build the eco-latrines, which takes a month to be constructed.  The eco-latrine has two collection of vaults for solid waste. When the first is full, the family begins using the second. Meanwhile the waste in the first vault breaks down into organic compost. The vaults in a family's latrine are sized so that this cycle can be repeated every 10-12 months. Urine is collected in another container and is mixed with water to use as fertiliser.
They are also trained to transform their waste into the food for the herd, which is now much safe and clean.
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