International Alert’s project, ‘Engineering peace’, aims to reduce the impact that engineering companies have on communities and their ability to adapt to climate change. As part of our work, we have been looking at practical examples of engineering schemes that avoid exacerbating tensions within local communities by adopting more conflict-sensitive approaches.
In Bangladesh, the biggest challenge for the NGO Simple Action For the Environment (SAFE) was managing community expectations. Working with UK architect Jo Ashbridge, the goal of the project was to use innovative building techniques to construct a prototype house which would be more resistant to natural hazards as well as low-cost. The site chosen for the project was Nobu para, a hamlet in Dinajpur district in northwestern Bangladesh, an area regularly affected by storms.
Close cooperation and constant communication with the local community were key to this project’s success, ensuring community approval and ongoing support. This photostory documents the process.
Photos © Jo Ashbridge/Philippa Battye/Pilvi Halttunen