School of Architecture
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
The January 2001 earthquake that struck the state of Gujarat in India damaged or destroyed some 8,000 villages and 490 towns. In the months and years after the earthquake, many organizations undertook widespread reconstruction programmes. One such collaboration between the NGO CARE India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) built 5,554 permanent houses as well as schools and community centres in 23 villages. This paper revisits 10 of the 23 villages that were partially or fully rebuilt by FICCI-CARE, 10 years after the earthquake. It finds that while the houses remain structurally strong and are mostly in use, residents" levels of satisfaction, perception and usage are mixed. A central theme concerns the initial prioritization of seismic safety, which has sacrificed longer-term considerations of comfort, adaptability and the environment. The paper describes the houses that were built and presents findings according to structural condition, engagement in design, adaptations, house selling and perceptions of safety. The discussion presents four issues that emerge from the findings and wider research. The paper ends by proposing a simple equation for good housing, which places people" s involvement in building processes as the vital component.
This short piece argues that a series of progressive developments in our understanding of aid after disasters, and how we should seek to deliver and manage it, calls for a review of accountability systems in the sector.
Increased exposure to volcanic hazard, particularly at vulnerable small islands, is driving an urgent and growing need for improved communication between monitoring scientists, emergency managers and the media, in advance of and during volcanic crises. Information gathering exercises undertaken on volcanic islands (Guadeloupe, St. Vincent and Montserrat) in the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean), which have recently experienced - or are currently experiencing - volcanic action, have provided the basis for the compilation and publication of a handbook on Communication During Volcanic Emergencies, aimed at the principal stakeholder groups. The findings of the on-island surveys point up the critical importance of (1) bringing together monitoring scientists, emergency managers, and representatives of the media, well in advance of a volcanic crisis, and (2), ensuring that procedures and protocols are in place that will allow, as far as possible, effective and seamless cooperation and coordination when and if a crisis situation develops. Communication During Volcanic Emergencies is designed to promote and encourage both of these priorities through providing the first source-book addressing working relationships and inter-linkages between the stakeholder groups, and providing examples of good and bad practice. While targeting the volcanic islands of the eastern Caribbean, the source-book and its content are largely generic, and the advice and guidelines contained therein have equal validity in respect of improving communication before and during crises at any volcano, and have application to the communication issue in respect of a range of other geophysical hazards.