Managing Sustainable Post-Disaster Reconstruction by Glyn Utting
The Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire branch was pleased to welcome Glyn Utting to present an inspiring talk on one of his post disaster construction projects on 11 September 2018. This was an excellent collaborative and well attended event organised with two of our regional corporate partners, with wyg group providing the speaker, and Yorkshire Water providing the conference facility at their headquarters in Bradford.
In 2015 an earthquake hit Nepal with devastating consequences for the local communities. Glyn gave a fascinating insight into the APM award-winning project which successfully helped with the recovery of the area following this natural disaster.
When any natural disaster occurs, recovery relies on aid and humanitarian assistance. In the initial relief phase, expertise and skills in search and rescue, medical care, supply of clean water, and food and temporary shelter are essential. In the longer-term the focus turns to rebuilding and recovery.
In areas such as Nepal, donor dependency results in a lack of community engagement, a lack of construction expertise within international organisations driving the recovery, and lack of professional oversight during construction. This lack of community engagement often results in buildings that are not fit for purpose and don’t provide the facilities that the community needs long term. Western methods are not sustainable in these areas as the local people can’t reconstruct them should another disaster occur.
The focus of this project was to overcome these issues by utilising the knowledge and resources of the existing local experts who have been operating on the ground for many years. As a qualified civil and structural engineer, Glyn was able to offer his expertise to the local people and explain that their buildings are safe but could be safer by adding some additional features to their design. Using traditional construction methods ensured that the local people could utilise local materials and skills, and reduce donor dependency ensuring a sustainable future.
A comprehensive and inspiring look at post-disaster projects. Further reading comes highly recommended.
APM Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire branch, committee member.