22 January 2012

Two case studies of steel sheltering in Vietnam, by Eelko Brouwer and Corinne Treherne, Netherlands Red Cross and IFRC

One main message at the start of the presentation was that transitional shelter is not a product, but a process, a phase, that can be materialised in many different ways, such as through host families, cash and/or vouchers, technical guidance and training, or, as in these cases, the construction of transitional shelters. Two case studies from Vietnam (Central in 1998 and South in 2000) are given to illustrate some of the challenges faced in transitional shelter using steel.
Similarities and differences between the two locations, including exposure to different types of disasters and different local building practices, led to two different shelter designs. They however shared the same considerations around long term disaster preparedness and risk reduction; progressive design, simple and quick to set up, limiting deforestation, increasing hazard resistance and coping options, basic outlook. In the given context, steel was considered the appropriate material to fulfil these strategic choices.
A follow up study on the projects was done seven years later. Conclusions from this study, including advantages and disadvantages of using steel for the shelters, were elaborated during the presentation. This led to the identification of some points on which the collaboration between private, academic and humanitarian actors can be improved.

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