First house rebuilt after Cyclone Fani in Odisha

• Transitional homes – to fill the gap till permanent houses are built with government support, and to help currently homeless families survive the impending Monsoon

• Built innovatively using local design and materials, including wood from fallen trees

• Reaching out to the most marginal and invisible families, and built with their participation
Puri: SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) today announced the completion of their first prototype transitional home in Biripadia village, Sardar block of Puri, Odisha. Puri bore the brunt of the devastation by Cyclone ‘Fani’ which made landfall last month. With support from United Way of Mumbai, SEEDS has been undertaking work on water, health camps and now housing in the district.
As per SEEDS methodology, the prototype transitional home is always built for one of the families most in need within the village. In this case, it is Lata Mallik, a physically challenged (hearing impaired) single woman, from a marginalized Scheduled Caste community in Biripadia. The village is about 15 km from Puri, with families who mainly landless and daily wage labourers. The families survived the cyclone under an uprooted tree.
Talking about the methodology and the need for transitional shelters, Manu Gupta, Co-founder, SEEDS said: “This first house to be rebuilt is a symbol of hope, in a setting where there is still devastation all around.  We are very happy to hand over this first transitional shelter to Lata ji and look forward to a widespread momentum in reconstruction that leaves no-one behind.” Manu also presented the approach to government, UN, World Bank and civil society representatives in a state level consultation on post Fani reconstruction recently.
The cyclone-resistant transitional shelter uses a design that combines salvaged timber from uprooted trees and locally available bamboo. The design is truly local, increases sustainability and reduces the carbon footprint leading to saving of time, money and assets. At the same time, there is a considerable social dimension that comes through from the community-led process, the involvement of communities and the learning that gets left behind to help prevent future risk.
Talking about the recovery phase in Odisha, Jayanti Shukla, CEO, United Way Mumbai, said that United Way Mumbai is pleased to support the intervention for transitional shelters, as it fills a critical gap in recovery for families at the margins. “With the impending Monsoon, these families cannot survive in the tarpaulin and tents that they have received. We stand with these families in this time of acute need. We stand united for Odisha”, Shukla said.
The programme adopts an owner-driven approach, empowering house owners to give inputs in design and take the lead in construction. Over 500,000 homes across Odisha have been damaged due to Cyclone Fani and with monsoons approaching, putting a roof for the displaced families is a priority for SEEDS.

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