Climate and Flood Resilient House Cluster
The Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is implementing climate and flood resilient (CFR) houses in two clusters in two villages namely Char Dhushmara and Char Haibat Kha in the sub-district Kaunia upazila of Rangpur district in Bangladesh in the lower Teesta flood plain. The CFR houses are conceptualized based on the traditional community-based “mount and ditch” approach. In this approach, the community digs a ditch near the house and makes the plinth with excavated earth from the ditch. They also plant household use plants/vegetables around the ditch and plinth. The pilot proved positive benefits for the poor who are exposed to climate extremes, mainly to floods, riverine erosion and heat and cold waves.
The steps followed in the process involve: (a) a baseline household survey; (b) community consultations to select potential pilot cluster and assess their preferences and practices; and (c) monitoring and evaluation in a participatory way. The interventions include plinth raising, traditional house reconstruction, as well as improvements to new pre-fabricated wooden and still plate houses imported from Ganges flood plain of central Bangladesh, homestead garden, poultry and livestock, hedge row and tree plantation surrounding the plinth, solar panel, improved cooking stoves, sanitary toilets, tube-wells, and skill development trainings. The technical challenge faced is mainly sandy soil washed away in each flood. For this, slope was protected with naturally abandoned hedge row and tree plantation. Up-scaling would include sharing lessons learned with stakeholders and policy makers; training of local masons and carpenters; and local entrepreneurship development. Large river erosion may be a high risk for CFR houses; however, these houses are quickly portable and thus can be saved from erosion and re-established in another location.