Proposal for Rehabilitation
The idea for ‘Resettling the Indus’ was the result of a meeting of architects, engineers, social workers and students, held in Lahore on the 17th of August, 2010 in response to the floods of 2010. After the meeting, a draft survey was prepared, which is constantly being dispatched with any relief team going out from Lahore, in order to get as much documentation of the flood affected areas as possible. As for ourselves, we set out for Nowshera, Charsadda and Peshawar districts to review the on-ground situation at these places.
Received by SRSP, to whom we are very grateful for their support and guidance, we arrived in Peshawar the night of 21st August, 2010. Our schedule was ready – Nowshera region in the first half of the morning, Charsadda in the second. It was a day long tour of these two districts, with detailed briefing from the SRSP managers of each district.
Nowshera and Charsadda districts are one of the worst hit districts in Pakistan. Thankfully, since they were one of the first to be affected and due to international presence of organizations already in that area, immediate attention was drawn towards them in terms of relief and aid. In that regard, it was comforting to see that a lot of aid was getting to the people of this region, which makes it all the more important to now think of the next step.
During our review of these areas, SRSP took us to villages/towns that were completely destroyed by the floods. We identified two villages in Charsadda, with the help of Mr. Khalid Jan, Chief Manager of SRSP (Charsadda District), which could be used as model villages for development. Mr. Khalid Jan was very eager to get the reconstruction phase started as soon as possible, echoing sentiments of a lot of analysts that free aid for too long will make the affectees dependent on it, and slow down the process of them returning to their villages.
One village was a katcha construction village, just off the Kabul River, named Hasara Yaseen Zai. The other was a pakka construction locality, on the outskirts of main Charsadda city.
We surveyed the village Hasara Yaseen Zai (HYZ) in detail, and expressed our interest in using it as a model village, to which Mr. Khalid Jan responded quite positively. Most of the people from villages, such as HYZ, moved to the nearest high grounds and have pitched up their tents there. They are stationed right across from their village, and as such any rehabilitative work will not require them to travel much. Like many other villages, the foundations of the houses in HYZ were in stone, while the rest of the structure was made in mud and straw.
Our initial proposals made for this village recognized this system of construction, and were designed accordingly. Some sketches for these proposals can be found below.
Before returning to Lahore, we forwarded an initial proposal to SRSP in the form of sketches, as to how this process can be set up. This step by step process will serve as guidelines that can be implemented throughout the flood-affected regions (altered to fit the requirement of each region). The support from local organizations, already working in different areas, is highly necessary in order to avoid delays in the rehabilitation process. The proposal was divided up into six steps, which are as such:
Step I – Development of proposal for village
- Physical planning and detail specifications of proposed development
- Mobilization of affected people
- Usage of rubble material + resources to other materials necessary to begin development
Step II – Forwarding proposal to SRSP for ground breaking of development
- Explaining procedure of development of locals to each village.
Step III – Beginning of on-ground development
- Getting locals to begin a chain of operations in resettling their villages.
- Appointing tasks to male and female member of the village:
- Clean-up of rubble/Following the development of pathway connections between clusters of homes
- Assembly of roof trusses, made near the tents by females (bamboo + rope)
- Prototype of homes (guided by drawings) begin construction, under management of SRSP + RtIndus.
- Piles of rubble material are made on-site of BRICK, STONE, BAMBOO, and MUD, which are later distributed to each plot for construction of the house.
- Easily constructed homes + civil buildings from rubble materials by the locals of the village, in a systemized chain of operations.
Step IV – Detailed documentation of the process to record the time and scale of construction, so to use as a model that can be followed for resettling villages all around the affected areas of 2010 floods.
Step V – Since the process of development will be clear to the villagers of the model village by the end of it, SRSP can employ them to further guide villages around the Sarhad areas. This way, instead of giving them free aid, we can use these resources to make sure the local people are once again mobilized in resettling themselves.
Step VI – Begin resettling the affected towns and cities now that the villages will be given complete responsibility to their villagers.
In doing so, the current problem of displaced villages, in tents, waiting for aid will no longer be. The people of the land will again be mobilized.