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< prev - next > Disaster response mitigation and rebuilding Reconstruction KnO 100121_Rebuilding after an earthquake (Printable PDF)
Building technologies in development projects are often developed to be used on a small, local
scale. Even when working on a huge project, Bashir Sakhawarz was convinced of the need to
take local construction practices, resources, skills, and needs into account, when creating new
settlements that will be sustainable and safe. While it was imperative to respond to the needs
of disaster victims as quickly and humanely as possible, beneficiaries' skills, knowledge of local
construction practices, and resources had to be taken into account.
On 30 September 1993, an earthquake in the Marathwada region rocked large areas of
Maharashtra and Karnataka,
particularly the settlements
located in Latur and Osmanabad
districts of Maharashtra. Nearly
10 000 people were killed and
as many were injured. Countless
houses, buildings, and
infrastructure works were
seriously damaged. Buildings
were damaged extensively in 83
villages, of which 25 suffered
near-total destruction.
The devastation was so great
that the Indian government
asked for help from the
international community to
undertake a rehabilitation and
reconstruction programme. The
International Red Cross provided
about £7 million -about 5 per
cent of the overall costs -and the
World Bank provided the
remainder. The scale of the
reconstruction needed meant
that the whole project would be
overseen by the government. The
Figure 1: Many traditional stone and earth buildings are
not built to withstand seismic activity, and are prone to
crack and even collapse.
Building Material and Technology
Promotion Council commissioned a team of professionals, known as TARU -the Technology
Section Research Unit for Development, who undertook a rapid assessment of the damaged
houses and buildings in the affected areas. Three teams of professionals made up of geologists,
architects, civil engineers, sociologists, and management consultants visited the villages to
study the cause and pattern of the damage, and to recommend cost-effective and appropriate
technical strategies for house construction on new sites, and for the retrofitting and seismic
strengthening of the various types of houses on the existing sites. The region may continue to be
prone to earthquake tremors, so the technical options recommended conformed to standards for
housing and buildings in Zone 4 of the earthquake zone map of the Bureau of Indian Standards.
The villagers were not required to pay for any of the rebuilding.
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