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Inclusive and Disaster Resilient Shelter Guide Urban Informal Settlements, Honiara, Solomon Islands

  • Published on February 18, 2022

The Shelter Guide, developed for Habitat for Humanity, builds on ongoing research for the project ‘Climate Resilient Honiara’, funded by the UNFCCC Adaptation Fund and administered by UN-Habitat; as well as other local activities being carried out by shelter researchers and practitioners in shelter, informal settlements, disaster risk reduction, and urban climate resilience across Melanesia. The work was underpinned by an area-based ‘action research’ approach, with the project team comprising a mix of Solomon Islanders and international researchers. This gave due weight to local knowledge and traditional practice, while also applying scientific expertise in the built environment. The voices of local women, youth and disability groups were given prominence to ensure that the Guide was informed by the cultural knowledge of all community members around shelter, vulnerability, and acceptable levels of risk.

‘Tie Down from Bottom Up’ is the central message of this Guide. The key structural features to be targeted for increased shelter resilience starts from the ground up with anchored footings; then ties, straps, and bracings to secure the structural frame. The Guide provides details on how to improve each of these critical construction elements. The use of suitable local materials, rather than reliance on imported ones, is also recommended as these are more easily available, often cheaper and more sustainable, and contribute to the local economy. It is acknowledged that there is a preference for materials that are stronger and longer lasting. This work is directly related to work of the SBC programme.

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