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Hundreds of thousands of houses were destroyed and entire villages flattened in the recent earthquake rendering people homeless across several districts of the country. The earthquake has crippled the day-to-day life of many villages and people in Nepal. With millions of homeless Nepalese people compelled to live in tents on open fields and with the monsoon looming, an alternative shelter is an urgent necessity. And it is essential that alternative shelters are affordable, easy-to-build and are an efficient alternative living space for these people.

A group of students and professionals at the Institute of Engineering (IOE), Tribhuvan University have developed a temporary shelter suitable for the earthquake victims. These emergency shelters, Aashraya, would be slightly more expensive than tarps themselves, but would provide superior protection against wind, rain, heat, cold and fire. Each shelter uses a mixture of local materials, materials from the crumbled houses, and materials brought in from Kathmandu. The photo shows how the Aashraya has adapted to available materials. It is easy to build with the help of locals, volunteers, and trained technicians from the engineering college. The shelters are approximately 11’x12’ and cost AUS$190 per shelter.

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