Article 25 calls for rebuilding work to be considered now

Architectural charity Article 25 is poised to send teams of construction experts to Pakistan to assist in urgently needed rebuilding work. The charity called for rebuilding work to be considered even during the current emergency recovery phase.

 Article 25 already has its staff in Pakistan providing its technical skill to the reconstruction after Pakistan’s last disaster, the 2005 earthquake. The charity said its experience of disaster recovery had shown the need for “joined-up thinking between immediate relief and long-term recovery”, which it said was critical to ensuring the success of the aid operation.

Article 25 is planning to play an essential part in Pakistan’s recovery from the disastrous floods that hit Pakistan in July 2010.  The number of people affected is believed to be 21m and some 134,000 people are reportedly living in camps. The area affected by the floods is said to have been about the same size of the whole of England.  

Robin Cross director of projects at Article 25 said: “Relief efforts must be focused on ensuring people’s health and lives are not further endangered by the floods. But by keeping half an eye on the reconstruction of the built environment the chances of Pakistan’s long term recovery increased.”

Article 25, which has worked recently in Haiti, said the skills and machinery needed to stabilize the land and rebuild essential structures must be made available to those who need it most. As part of this, the tendency for the most skilled labour to be drawn to high value commercial construction in urban areas must be balanced out.

This was Pakistan’s worst flood in history and has left millions homeless and under threat of malnutrition and other health problems.  

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to the built environment. It says that adequate shelter and housing are fundamental to human rights.