People travelling along the Sujawal Bund of Thatta during the Eid holidays were pleasantly surprised to see two glittering “Chandi Ghars” built overnight. This was part of an exercise to provide low cost prefab houses for the flood affectees a joint venture of two Karachi based NGO’s – Gul Bahao and Umeed. Gul Bahao has been claiming for years that the Chandi Ghar being prefabricated is ideal for disaster management and especially wherever ownership of land is not certain
The Chandi Ghar it may be recalled is a totally new concept using aluminum foil and panaflex materials along with bamboo sticks. Though the manufacture of the blocks requires the latest raw materials assembling them is extremely simple consisting of blocks and panels it was manufactured at the Gul Bahao complex in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and then transported to Shujawal
A seven member team of Gul Bahao erected the two houses 10×15 feet along with the male members of the flood affected housed in tents along the Sujawal Bund . They spent two days and nights right in the open till the putting up of the prefabs. This way much of the new technology was handed down to the villagers some of whom were acquainted with house building. The workers of Gul Bahao were however saddened to see that their hosts ate barely a single meal a day. On their part they tried not to be a burden on their hosts.
Addressing the villagers who had gathered to watch the spectacle, Nargis Latif, the managing trustee of Gul Bahao said that this new innovation is a source of hope for the teeming millions of Pakistan that not only can it provide housing for them but can also provide avenues for employment and income generation. Nargis declared that the innovation is unique, that we have beaten the Americans, the Chinese, Japanese and the rest of the world in this respect.