Kosi Flood Rehabilitation, Bihar

As a part of the ODR Collaborative, Hunnarshala helped the Bihar government formulate a policy that facilitated the reconstruction of 100,000 houses, while reaching the most vulnerable families in a cost-effective manner in the wake of the Kosi floods.

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In the wake of the Kosi floods, Hunnarshala, as a part of the ODR Collaborative, helped the Bihar government formulate a policy that facilitated the cost-effective reconstruction of 100,000 houses, prioritizing aid for the most vulnerable families. Based on a consultative process with Hunnarshala which integrated phased reconstruction with the Indira Awas Yojana, the government planned the rehabilitation package for each family.

For designing the program, Hunnarshala studied the regions’ traditional built forms and building techniques, conducting design exercises with focus groups to develop different design options for houses using combinations of brick and bamboo. To make buildings cost-effective and multi-hazard resistant, Hunnarshala also introduced several technical innovations: 

  • Chemical treatment of bamboo for increased longevity of the structure. 
  • More robust Bamboo joining technique 
  • Development of details for incorporating Bamboo in foundation 
  • Introduction of Stub Foundation and Alternative Pile Foundation with community involvement 
  • Rat-trap bond masonry for enhanced stability 
  • ECOSAN toilets for sustainable sanitation 

Local masons were trained in these techniques and employed by the Bihar government to oversee reconstruction. Hunnarshala demonstrated the technology as well as policy implementation for appropriate construction by building 42 houses in Orlaha village and 89 houses in Puraini village. This included training more than 400 people for further implementing the program. 

We have also undertaken post – disaster reconstruction work in Kashmir, Iran, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Nepal. 

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