|The Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit (SRDU) research series will inaugurate SRDU-I and II and launch SRDU-III|
|Monday, 08 October 2012 07:19|
The Housing Chair of EiABC is organizing an event marking the successful completion of SRDU-I and II and the launching of SRDU-III. The event will be held on 21 October 2012 at the research site in Gubrie, Guraghe zone. In the full day ceremony government officials stakeholders, academics and local residents are expected to attend. During the ceremony certificate of accomplishment will be awarded to local SRDU trainees. The research project is designed in three phases: Phase- 1 dealt with the documentation and study of the existing rural housing and the construction of SRDU-I, Phase-2 dealt with the construction of SRDU-II, and Phase-3 (SRDU-III) deals with the up-scaling of the SRDU-I and II and the contextualization of vocational training.
Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit (SRDU) Research Project
Of the estimated eighty million people living in rural regions of Ethiopia, approximately 80% are living in housing units that are substandard and inadequate. Although this dire situation requires an immediate intervention and systematic improvement, both academics and policy makers still largely neglect the issue; of witness, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal, target-11, that focuses on urban slums only. Observing this gap, a research project was initiated at the Housing Chair of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC). It is entitled Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit (SRDU) and focuses on capacity building for the construction of improved housing units with the use of alternative building materials and renewable energy.
The research project is designed in three phases: Phase- 1 dealt with the documentation and study of the existing rural housing and the construction of SRDU-I, Phase-2 dealt with the construction of SRDU-II, and Phase-3 deals with the up-scaling of the SRDUs and the contextualization of vocational training, hereafter SRDU-III. As of now SRDU-I and II are completed, while SRDU-III has just been launched. SRDU-III aims to address a key challenge in the promotion of improved innovative housing which is ensuring the final acceptance of the innovation by a wider population. Frequently, projects are prone to remain as one-time interventions, short of dissemination.
Intermediate findings of the research indicate that carrying out hands-on training of trainers (TOT) to farmers, recruited from different parts of the project area, is one of the key methods for sustainability and scaling-up. To enhance this further, the main focus of SRDU-III will be mainstreamizing the learnings, so far gained, through the development of curricula and the creation of a capacity building pyramid involving local universities and TVET colleges. The key strategies for capacity building, thus, will be curriculum development and hands-on training that takes into consideration indigenous knowledge and socio-cultural realities. Scientific research is expected to be provided by PhD candidates from ETH-Zurich of Switzerland and EiABC through the professorial guidance at both the ETH-Zurich-Future Cities laboratory in Singapore and EiABC. The SRDU research project, when up-scaled, is believed to have an impact, not only on the efficiency of rural settlements, hitherto scattered; but also on the health, education, job creation and generally the wellbeing of the inhabitants of Ethiopia’s emerging towns and the rural areas.
The research project is supported and facilitated by Switzerland’s Arthur Waser Foundation and ETH-Global, respectively. The project has also local partners, namely: the Guraghe Administration Zone, the Bete-Guraghe Cultural Centre (BGCC), the Wolkite University and Wolkite Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College.
Elias Yitbarek (PhD)
SRDU Research Project Leader
Chair of Housing, EiABC, AAU
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 08:29|