August 16, 2005
by Canadian Architect
After Hurricane Emily hit Grenada, less than a year after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Ivan, a collaborative team which includes Architectonica, Ferrara Design, Ed Plaut, GR3, and St. George’s Medical School, began to raise funds to send a number of transitional shelters to the island for use as temporary homes and rural clinics. The units, known as Global Village Shelters, are designed by the father-and-daughter team of Daniel and Mia Ferrara of Ferrara Design and are made from recycled corrugated cardboard impregnated to be fire retardant and laminated for water resistance.
The first shipment arrived in Grenada last week and the locally based organization GR3, which is affiliated with St. George’s Medical School, have set up a staging area to help with assembly and to make sure the units get to those most in need. Thanks to a call for funds, Architecture for Humanity (AfH) has raised enough to get the second and final shipment from Miami to Grenada, which is scheduled to leave within days.
Trying times plague the reconstruction effort in Sri Lanka. Relief International, the nonprofit organization partnered with AfH in Pottuvil, Sri Lanka, has begun laying the foundation and building walls for two of the five schools that AfH is funding. A number of these schools may be completed by the end of the month, and AfH has also been in discussion about helping on an economic development project to build a number of bakeries in the Arugam Bay area.
The rebuilding effort in Kirinda continues to move very slowly. This is due to continual land rights issues that have plagued the development process. As AfH is focusing on the civic and community buildings, they must wait for land to be allocated to housing before they can begin on the police station, post office, clinic and other projects. AfH will meet with local officials and community members next month to try to gain a sense of the construction timeline, and the outcome of these discussions will determine next steps and the scope of their involvement there.
Finally, Sri Lankas’ long-term civil unrest has re-emerged. On Friday, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed outside his home in Colombo. There has been friction in the north and east for the past couple of months and sporadic violence has hindered the building process. Additionally, roadblocks have also caused delays in transportation.