[Strawbale] When you go to a disaster situation, have these tools with you..

Tahir Muhammad imtahir80 at yahoo...
Tue Mar 2 15:08:25 CET 2010

Dear Folks, 

I have apparently not gotten my self on this mailing list, so now I am writing through Tahir's email. 
For any one going abroad, to do anything, in any kind of disaster situation, there is a handbook developed over the past 15 years by the 400 mayor NGO's and Red cross/Red crescent, giving guidelines and minimal standards to fulfill and work from when doing a relief/development project. The initiative is called "Sphere" and the sphere handbook can be downloaded for free from this website: 


Any one going to Haiti, Should be aware of OCHA, Which is UN's coordination organization. They will have up dates on the situation, on what all the organizations in Haiti are working on on reliefweb: 


There are so called "cluster-meetings" held, where all NGO's e.g. working with shelters, will have a representative meet ever so often, to up date each other, on where they are working, any relevant local information gathered etc. 

There is as well something called the Logical Framework Approach, which states an approach to any kind of relief project, that insures especially the needed of local participation, but as well, that the necessary assessments, feed backs, monitoring, evaluations etc. are done along the way. DO LOOK THAT UP. You have to remember that the process is more important then the result, since it is the process that determines the peoples experience, and there by their interest in using what you are offering.

Finally. The most important of all perhaps, is the attitude, to meet the Haitians as your clients. They are all ready victims of a great disaster, they do not need to be victimized by any one any more.

If bales are to be manufactured, the PAKSBAB has developed a manual baling machine, using a farm jack. Perhaps in Haiti you want to bale styrofoam fastfood trays rather then straw..I don't know.

All my blessings (: I wish you a good experience. For your own mental health's sake, remember to take more pictures of children smiling and playing, then of ruins and mentally upset people.
And forgive me if I am repeating already writen messages, I have not been following the topic on the list.


--- On Fri, 2/19/10, Sara Tommerup <stommerup at gmail...> wrote:

From: Sara Tommerup <stommerup at gmail...>
Subject: Re: [Strawbale] Bales for Haiti
To: Archilogic at chaffyahoo..., "European strawbale building discussions" <strawbale at amper....muni.cz>
Cc: "GSBN" <GSBN at greenbuilder...>, SB-r-us at yahoogroups..., strawbale at listserv.repp.org
Date: Friday, February 19, 2010, 2:33 AM

I think manual baling machines had been successfully used in Pakistan
after the Earthquake, and is still being used. It is supposed to be
very simple and can be build on Tahiti. And if I remember correctly,
they use rice straw as well. But contact PAKSBAB for that.

Sara Tommerup

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 8:04 PM, RT <ArchiLogic at yahoo...> wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Feb 2010 12:06:58 -0500, Derek Roff <derek at unm...> wrote:
>> It looks like a team of three people will be heading to Haiti in early
>> March to build a prototype strawbale building, as part of the relief
>> efforts.  Builders Without Borders is trying to support and collaborate
>> (with this and other projects).  An immediate need is a source of straw
>> and/or bales.  There is rice grown in Haiti, but no evidence of bales,
>> and unknown quantities of available straw.  Hand baling, or rebaling,
>> may be necessary.
> I am ambivalent about the idea of parachuting a team of "foreigners"
> heading to Haiti to build them some SB homes.
> The "other" side wonders how appropriate SB-walled buildings might be for
> that locale/climate and how the instant buildings might fit into the
> culture, assuming that the structures are intended to have a long service
> life beyond that of emergency shelters.
> In Haiti as is the case in most other places, I suspect that it is the
> roof that is the more critical component in creating shelter and unless
> the Team is building vaulted structures, straw /bales would play a minimal
> role in the creation of those roofs.
> Those concerns notwithstanding, I also wonder if it might be more helpful
> in the long term to send a baling machine rather than just a shipment of
> bales, my understanding (from very brief Google-ing in the days following
> the destruction) being that Haiti grew more than enough rice to be
> self-sufficient.
> ie Showing Haitians how to build SB buildings using imported straw and/or
> bales won't do them much good once the Team goes home.
> On the other hand, if they are provided with a baling machine, then they
> can produce bales using whatever locally-available materials exist,
> whether it be rice straw or some other cellulosic "waste" material.
> The baler would have to be modified slightly perhaps, so that rather than
> being hauled around a field by a tractor, it might remain stationary, with
> the baling stock being fed into it by a small conveyor, and perhaps the
> baler and conveyor being powered by a stationary engine or human or beast
> of burden power.
> I suspect that the funds to purchase the baler, conveyor,  etc. might be
> able to be raised from fund-raising initiatives on the SB lists.
> --
> === * ===
> Rob Tom
> Kanata, Ontario, Canada
> <A r c h i L o g i c  at  Y a h o o  dot  c a >
> (manually winnow the chaff from my edress if you hit "Reply")
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