Bamboo homes for Ecuador earthquake relief
Organized by: Manuel Pallares
This semi-permanent and permanent housing initiative was born after the 7.8 magnitude Earthquake that struck Ecuador on April 16, 2016 killing 800 people and leaving up to 7000 families homeless in just 45 seconds.
CAEMBA stands for "Bamboo Emerging Houses" and it's a project that came true after assessing the needs of low income families that lost their homes after the earthquake. The premise behind the project is to help affected families to recover their lives in their own properties and bring them out of the overly crowded official refugee camps or the improvised and precarious individual shelters. The mission is to bring people back to a productive and peaceful life, away from the overcrowded shelters and the vicious habits that intrinsically occur within them.
Since April 19th, just 3 days after the earthquake, to July 4th, CAEMBA has built 186 homes, which shelter over 900 people in individual and private single family units.
As time goes by and there are little signs of government or international aid programs addressing the urgent housing need of thousands of families, CAEMBA has become determined to continue its work in the most ambitious way. We have been building homes at a rate of 20 a week since the earthquake and we will like to expand our work to over 30 homes per week, especially targeting families in the lowest income ranges and families with disabled members.
Our model is based on a progressive model where a basic but strong bamboo structure is used in combination with a reflective plastic roof which keeps homes cool under the tropical sun and uses a plastic fabric as walls to provide weather protection and privacy. This basic model can be later improved by adding concrete floors and bamboo, wooden or brick walls. The basic model costs only $450 dollars. This way, families can easily move into a private space that can be improved with time as more resources are available.