Developing resilient and eco-friendly housing models in Nepal


Bratislava/Pretoria – Habitat for Humanity International and The Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) have entered into a one-year partnership to develop affordable, sustainable and disaster-resilient housing for women in eastern Nepal.

Around 50 families, approximately 240 people, in Saptari district of the country, will benefit from the partnership. Nearly 200 people will also be trained on disaster resilience. As a result, two local communities will be better prepared to face future disasters.

AGFUND will provide $100,000 for the work. Habitat for Humanity Nepal will carry out most of the activities through focusing on the following:

  • Promoting locally available low-cost building materials, mainly bamboo;
  • Utilizing engineered housing designs to ensure disaster resilience and enhancing the local vernacular architecture;
  • Constructing incremental houses, with basic structure, for the vulnerable;
  • Training local communities to build stronger and safer homes while keeping costs low;
  • Equipping communities with the skills and knowledge to be prepared for future disasters;
  • Leveraging local government support to assist the low-income groups.

The AGFUND funds will be used to develop structurally sound design models. Habitat for Humanity Nepal will also seek to leverage the local government contributions to support this work, approximately $500 per home.

The new partnership builds on the successes and learnings from the joint work between 2016 and 2018. Then, AGFUND and Habitat for Humanity provided access to microfinance loans and technical support for 126 female-headed households in Nepal who were able to build homes from treated bamboo. At the same time, more than 200 women were trained in bamboo handicraft skills. 

In southeastern Nepal where bamboo grows abundantly, Habitat has developed housing designs that capitalize on the properties of both bamboo and modern building materials and construction techniques. Habitat Nepal promotes these designs for affordable, sustainable, disaster-resilient housing for low-income households particularly since the devastating floods of August 2017 that affected over 1 million people.

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