Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HFHI- Nepal strives to be innovators in cost effective housing provision with one of the strategies using locally available materials wherever possible.

As part of our ongoing development, HFH-Canada has signed a Contribution Agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in order to help HFHI-Nepal to carry out its bamboo housing project Bamboo Enterprise for Habitat in southeast Nepal. The grant was signed on 23rd November 2007 and provides for CIDA to financially assist HFHI-Nepal through HFHI- Canada. With additional funding support from HFH-Canada and in partnership with Sahara-Nepal, HFHI-Nepal has subsequently initiated a new project to build Bamboo Enterprise for Habitat. The project is being developed as a micro financing enterprise which also aims to develop bamboo as a cost affective, environmental friendly and durable tool for housing.

Bamboo for weaving mats
The project was initially conceived by HFHI Nepal and was assisted by the Canadian Architects’ Legacy Fund. Further support is committed by the Canadian Architects’ legacy Fund to implement the program through the architectural design of the factory and the financial support to house more families in Nepal with more than thousand numbers of women will be benefited.
The enterprise will involve the weaving of hundreds of bamboo mats that will then be delivered to the factory to be built north of Chandragardi. Employing about 25 people per shift the factory will laminate the mats into corrugated roof panels using resin to stick them together. The process requires a large hot press together with other equipment which is currently being manufactured in Calcutta, India. The project aims to help the community generate more income through these micro financial institutions with their own participation. Through micro financing institutions, the project also aims to empower and activate women in its processes. This will develop the community and also help in poverty alleviation. Delivery of the factory equipment is expected in April 2008 and all being well, we can look forward to the start up of operations in July 2008.
The support from CIDA, HFHI Canada, and the Canadian Architects Legacy Fund and the partnership with Sahara-Nepal has given HFHI- Nepal a chance to take a big leap forward and pursue great innovation. HFHI- Nepal is extremely thankful for this assistance to all and looks forward to working together on moving these projects forward.

“As Project Manager I have been very encouraged by the team work that is evolving to create what will be a unique not-for-profit enterprise to put much superior roofs over the heads of people who have such a need for better housing.” Peter Russell - Volunteer Engineer from Canada


Stanley Britton, MRAIC said...

Dear friends of Habitat Nepal:

The Canadian Architects' Fund is proud to be the project's catalyst and only pro bono partner, having assisted HFHI Nepal and HFH Canada during the process of problem definition, concept development, product demonstration and preparation of funding submissions; and, currently, the contributor-of-record of pro bono Project Architects Norman Glouberman & Patrice Pichette of ARCOP in Montreal and Delhi, and Project Manager Peter Russell, P.Eng., of Ottawa.

Some milestones: April 2006 (vision & concept); November (corrugated bamboo roofing sheets demonstration); January 2007 (briefing to the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA); March (CIDA submission); July (CIDA approval); August (Project Manager arrives in Nepal); November (CIDA contribution agreement signed); and May/June 2008 (opening ceremony).

The project's cash value is CA $639,830 ($493,080 CIDA and $146,750 HFH Canada). In addition, HFHI Nepal is contributing in-house resources valued at $25,000. The value placed on the pro bono effort of Canadian Architects' Fund volunteers at $350/day (CIDA rate) is $77,000 ($7,000 project development, $14,000 architectural services and $56,000 project management.

To be commended are Aruna Simittrarachchi, HFHI Nepal Country Representative, for holding true to his vision during these long and often tryng months; and Wayne deJong, VP Strategic & International Patnerships, for his inspiring leadership as the project's champion within Habitat Canada, to CIDA and with the implementation team

The 38 members of the Canadian Architects' Fund wish the project well knowing that it is Nepal's lowest income families who are to be the true beneficiaries of our lower-cost higher-quality roofs.

Stanley Britton, MRAIC
The Canadian Architects' Fund
Wakefield, Quebec, Canada

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