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  • Writer's pictureScarlett Lee

The importance of water-resistant earth construction techniques in developing countries

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

After Cyclone Idai hit Beira in Mozambique on 14 March, local communities have been severely affected suffering from a scarcity of food, drinking water, and sanitation facilities. They are also displaced losing their shelters made of muds.

Including Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe smashed by Cyclone Idai, a number of people in developing countries are killed or injured by collapsed mud buildings due to heavy rainfall every monsoon season.

This is the reason why I have initiated my PhD proposal, the aim of which is to provide resilient and affordable housings in developing countries with advanced water-resistant earth construction techniques. I will also deliver these techniques to local communities engaged with NGOs through workshops, thereby empowering them to build their earthen houses which are durable to heavy rainfall.

Family members at a destroyed mud house in Beira

The Cyclone Idai left nothing but a door of a mud house

A destroyed mud house in Beira

The cyclone swept away a mud finish

A woman is repairing her mud house in Beira

Image credit: Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP / Getty Images

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