Emergency Bamboo Havens Help Local Residents After Devastating Floods
According to recently released data from the Global Climate Risk Index, the country of Pakistan is the eighth most-vulnerable region on the planet for devastating weather episodes and extreme climate change events. After nearly 33 million people were displaced earlier this year due to severe “storm of the century” flooding, the need for emergency relief and temporary housing was immediate. Thankfully, a compassionate philanthropist and architect stepped in and saved the day, one piece of bamboo at a time.
As the CEO and Co-Founder of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, architect Yasmeen Lari and a group of dedicated volunteers have been helping displaced Pakistanis reboot their lives by building prefabricated bamboo shelters in the areas that have faced the most hardships after a natural disaster, like the Sindh province located in the southeast section of the country. Together, with the assistance of local residents, nearly 1,200 eco-friendly bamboo homes have been assembled with this versatile, durable, and locally-grown plant within the past five years and the foundation currently has no plans on slowing down.
“I want it to be zero carbon. I don’t want to create another problem in climate change by building in concrete or steel,” Yasmeen Lari said in a phone interview referring to the Lari OctaGreen (LOG) bamboo shelters. She also stressed the importance of utilizing the bamboo that is already being cultivated in Pakistan. “Everything should be locally-sourced. This is a way to link up the production of housing with how people can earn immediately,” indicating that the loss of income and sense of livelihood from these storms is a primary, yet often overlooked problem. She says that many of these people are artisans and craftsmen in their own right and would rather help with the rebuilding process than receive a handout.
Here at Bamboo Grove, we are truly blown away by the efforts of Yasmeen Lari and the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan. Not only are they giving residents the tools they need to survive and rebuild should they face another weather-related situation in the future, but they are also teaching people how to make sustainable fish farms and solar water stands. We could all learn a valuable lesson from this courageous climate change crusader.
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