Better Houses for Cyclone Nargis Survivors

International NGOs estimate that 450,000 houses were destroyed and 340,000 damaged by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, and more than 2.5m people affected. Today, more than one year later, only about 17,000 new houses have been constructed while the damaged houses have mostly been patched up with weak, temporary materials. Much more is needed to help the cyclone survivors.
Some of the 500 Houses provided to communites affected by Cyclone Nargis by AMURT & AMURTEL and its partners.

A visit to the delta area.

As our boat chugs through the tiny waterways of the delta area, we pass house after house after house, all bearing the AMURT logo. Residents and children wave and call out to our engineers Ko Myo and Ma Khaing, who had supervised the construction of the 512 houses (and the repair of 28 houses) in five villages to date. AMURT & AMURTEL seeks funds to build many more.

The happy villagers are more than grateful for their new houses. Based on traditional architectural design but improved by an extra sturdy solid timber frame, the new houses consist of a core unit (12’ x 12’) and a verandah (12’ x 6’) provided by AMURT & AMURTEL, with extensions provided by the house-owners. They are built to withstand wind speeds of 80mph and the highest tidal surge.

In an innovative community-based approach, village construction committees take responsibility for the storage of equipment and supplies, security and transportation. Wherever possible, local carpenters and unskilled laborers are recruited, and the whole community is involved as volunteers.