In group Somalia

Sustainable Solutions Working Group


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Localized Solutions and Building Back Safer

Linked to the move toward owner-driven approaches and community participation is the concept of localised shelter solutions for transitional and permanent shelter. This concept prioritises the local building practices and materials in shelter construction. The assumption is that local communities know best what materials work for their local environment, what shelter design is most appropriate for the culture and climactic context, and how to maintain shelters built in these ways.

The role of the SC is to use localised solutions as a foundation upon which to provide technical and financial support for the highest quality and most appropriate shelter possible. Community participation and ownership are underlying themes that are embedded in all cluster activities, with a strong focus on shifting away from contractor-driven to owner-driven approaches. In April 2015, cluster members participated in a training that covered the concepts of localised solutions, building back safer, and linking relief, rehabilitation, and development (LRRD). 

A key concept to ensuring sustainable shelter solutions are, indeed, sustainable is that of building back safer. Often when vulnerable groups are displaced and decide to settle in a new location, resources and knowledge are limited to ensure that the new shelter is resistant to future natural hazards. When SC partners employ the concept of building back safer, they are ensuring that households and communities understand how to be prepared, find a safe location to build, consider the shape of the house and position when constructing the shelter, build a strong foundation, tie-down the structure from the bottom-up, include bracing, form strong joints, and construct a strong roof.

The SC advocates that building back safer be integrated into all SC partner designs. More information can also be found on the trainings page.


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