Pakistan flood story 19: Hope Floats. The Community Rafts of Fizagat, Pakistan

The Karachi chapter of Architecture for Humanity is working on post-flood assessments, in partnership with the Karachi Relief Fund.

On Sunday, September 5th, the team was surveying a potential site at Fizagat, near Saidu Shaif. They were stunned by what they found. A village that has designed their way out of the floods and into economic recovery.

Chapter leader Mahboob Khan explained, "The SWAT riverbed is over 300m wide at this point, with both sides of the river supporting large populations. During our trip we stumbled across an ingenious series of handmade rafts made from tire tubes and bamboo by local villagers. At least 50 of these rafts were seen crossing the water with a number under construction."

Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity has this to say about the rafts: "This 'found' project is a clear example of a local innovation working without international aid and communities working collaboratively to design a better future. For all the talk on 'design for change' it is those who are on the ground and challenged every day that prove once again that creativity is an instinctive trait in the human ability to survive. For those of us who fund projects it is our role to embrace and support this natural instinct and not crush it with the weight of predetermined international response."

For more about this project, more photos, and to learn about the Open Architecture Network (OAN), please click here.

3 responses
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