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By : Pedro Ferradas

Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) recently completed the systematisation of their reconstruction projects which were implemented between the early 1990s and the year 2003 in the poor areas of Peru affected by disasters or internal war. Within these projects, technological housing reconstruction schemes were designed and validated as part of an effort to reduce the vulnerability of the affected population. 1,300 houses were built during 5 years; 600 houses between April 1992 and April 1994 and 700 houses between July 2001 and July 2003. The key factors for successful risk reduction identified during post-disaster reconstruction were: the location of reconstructed housing, the construction procedures and materials employed, the improvement of people's self-construction techniques, and the improvement of local risk-management skills. ITDG's first experience in Alto Mayo during the early 1990s involved participatory management at a local level and the use of the so-called improved "wattle and daub technology" (i.e. structural reinforcement of mud, wood and cane buildings). This technique is more earthquake-proof than the construction technology predominating in Peru (i.e. cement and iron-based structures). The experience in Ayacucho, which concluded in 2001, provided the opportunity to apply the so-called "improved adobe technique" (i.e. structural reinforcement of mud buildings), as well as to install community water supply systems. The reconstruction work in Moquegua and Tacna, completed in 2003, was based on the organisation of workshops geared towards encouraging the participation of women in the use of various housing construction technologies and providing the facilities for them to adapt such technologies to traditional architecture. This article highlights the ITDG approach and experiences to post-disaster reconstruction: the main activities carried out in preparation for and during the implementation of the projects, the lessons obtained during these experiences, and the monitoring and evaluation procedures recommended for future reconstruction projects.
Keywords : Reconstruction, Risk Management, Disasters, Construction Technology, Peru

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