The Benazir Housing Project in Pakistan was invited to present at the Climate Change and Environment Panel of the Global South-South Development Expo-GSSD 2009 held on December 15 at the Preston Auditorium of the World Bank.The motto of the Global South-South Development Expo is Solutions, Solutions, Solutions.
The Panel called "Responses of the South in Time of Crisis: Innovative Solutions in Climate Change and Environment" was moderated by Mr. Keith Kline, a Senior Research & Development Scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The GEF Small Grants Programme was represented by Mr. Zia ul-Islam, Chairman of the Peoples Housing Cell of the Government of Sindh in Pakistan and Mr. Masood Lohar, National Coordinator of SGP Pakistan.
The other panelists were Mr. Massoud Hedeshirural, Focal Point for South-South Cooperation and LDCs, Special Programmes Group United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO); Mr. Kiran Man Singh, National Programme Manager of the Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP) in Nepal; and Dr. Lin Jian, President of the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange System.
The presentation of the Benazir Housing Project generated huge interest because of its unique features: low cost, disaster resistant and energy efficient. The reserach for this housing solution was supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme and replicated by UNDP and the Goverment of Sindh in Pakistan.
To date 500 units have been built in 9 months through local NGO's in the districts of Karachi, Thatta and Badin which are disaster-hit zones in Pakistan. A key element of success for the project was the high level of community involvement and participation as the new units were build by the community in their own land reducing the cost of the house to only $3,900 dollars. Ownership was given to the women. In addittion, the program helped to build the capacity on the ground through the training of more than 1000 local masons in energy efficient technologies.
This solution will be in display at the Atrium of the World Bank until December 17.