Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka marked the World Habitat Day with a month-long string of activities to build houses and raise awareness for affordable homes.
“In keeping with the United Nations’ theme for World Habitat Day 2017 of ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka conducted events in October to bring attention to the use of alternative construction materials and technologies in constructing sustainable and affordable homes for communities in need across Sri Lanka,” said Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka National Director Dr. Dinesh Kanagaratnam.
Habitat Sri Lanka is implementing a multi-faceted housing project funded by the European Union (EU) that aims to construct and repair nearly 2,400 houses in Batticaloa, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu by 2020. More than 215,000 people will benefit from the project, which bridges the gap between relief, rehabilitation and development. It utilises alternative materials and techniques to improve the strength and comfort qualities of housing. The housing project promotes the use of locally manufactured earth blocks and construction materials such as compressed stabilized earth blocks and earth concrete blocks. Additionally, this EU-funded housing project has enabled Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka to introduce innovative alternative construction materials and technologies such as the Fairface masonry technology, Ferrocement, reinforced mortar and filler slab.
Habitat Sri Lanka kicked off its World Habitat Day celebrations in Kilinochchi on October 3 with a programme to train more than 30 technical officers and masons of the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) on the use of the Fairface technology. This masonry technique uses uniformly cast blocks with pointed mortar joints. It is both an eco-friendly and more cost-effective alternative to the regular process of plastering walls because it uses less sand and cement and results in a better finish and improves the look of the house.
In late October, Habitat Sri Lanka conducted a knowledge-sharing workshop on compressed stabilized earth blocks for 126 civil engineering students from the Technical College in Batticaloa. The workshop included a visit to Habitat Sri Lanka’s CSEB production yard and CSEB model house in Villavettuvan, Batticaloa. Students had the opportunity to learn about the block’s strength and eco-friendliness.
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has assisted more than 24,000 families by building and improving homes and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
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