Bangladesh: Conference and Workshop on Construction


Project NAME Transfer and exchange of knowledge and experience for more resilient shelter and watsan solutions for disaster prone areas in Bangladesh
FUNDING Ministry of Foreign Affairs Luxembourg, Friendship Bangladesh, Own funds
SCOPE  To raise awareness of local actors (organizations and government bodies) to address specific contextual and technical challenges that produce vulnerabilities. As well as to educate local populations how addressing technical weaknesses of their shelters can serve to reduce future risks and build more resilient communities, and exchange with and feedback from the people directly concerned in the development of better solutions and improving future responses.
DURATION 14 months, October 2013 to 30 December 2014


Between 1980 and 2008, Bangladesh experienced 219 natural disasters, equalling $16 billion (USD) in damage. Bangladesh suffers from droughts, monsoons, cyclones, floods, earthquakes, extreme weather, and landslides. It is the 6th most vulnerable country in the world to floods. Every 4-5 years, a severe flood affects over 60% of the country. One-third of the country floods during the annual rainy season. Climate change is very likely to augment the number of natural disasters and their impacts in the coming decades.

Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country in the world to cyclones; every 3 years it is hit with a severe tropic cyclone. According to government estimates, around 1.5 million people took refuge in cyclone shelters when Cyclone SIDR hit the coast of Bangladesh in November 2007. Natural disasters affect nearly half of the population. Many people in Bangladesh are landless and left to construct on flood-prone lands, meaning the poorest people live in the most vulnerable locations. The disasters repeatedly affect the housing as well as water supply & sanitation, leaving the affected in precarious conditions.

A number of NGOs are active in this field but there is a lack of technical knowledge and exchange of good practices. To make efforts more efficient and assure technical soundness and quality an exchange of expertise and experiences among stakeholders will help define appropriate technologies and cost effective solution to construct safer shelters and install water & sanitation system that make communities more resilient towards disasters.

The IFRC-SRU has been invited by the organization Friendship Bangladesh, to facilitate a workshop to explore appropriate designs for shelters and latrines to be adapted as better households/shelter solutions for disaster prone areas in Bangladesh. The workshop is planned for October 1-4.2014 with a preparatory field visit during the last two weeks of September. For IFRC-SRU this workshop is an excellent opportunity to share it’s analysis of Bangladesh shelter solutions and promote it’s capacity to provide contextualized shelter expertise to colleges from other international organizations as well as local practitioners and relevant authorities.



  • Inform the actors in the field of technical details of safe construction
  • Engage in a conference the local academics to contribute to promotion of safer construction for low-cost shelter
  • Engage in a conference the relevant government officials in the discourse
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