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November 18, 2020 at 8:52 pm #4798Health Through Housing AdminKeymaster
Often, cities that are rapidly urbanizing wind up with informally built homes that are susceptible to holding disease vectors. This is the case in Savar, Bangladesh and in the nearby villages where most of the houses are characterized by dirt floors. Dirt floors are ideal carriers of bacteria and parasites that contribute to a number of diseases, including diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses, bloodstream infections, and inflammatory skin diseases.
In 2014, ARCHIVE, with the support of the Association of Development for Economic and Social Help (ADESH), a Bangladeshi non-profit community organization conducted a pilot project titled Health from the Ground Up. The pilot targeted reducing the incidences of diarrheal disease in children under the age of 5 in the Savar region. This was the pilot project for what has become Mud to Mortar.
Now a multi-phased project, Mud to Mortar aims to reduce diarrheal diseases in peri-urban and rural homes near Savar through flooring upgrades. The project has a three-pronged approach to maximizing improved health outcomes:
- Implementing cleanable, durable, and cost-effective concrete floors in beneficiary homes.
- Educating community members on the impact of their homes on their health.
- Conducting a rigorous research study to understand the efficacy of the implementation.
To achieve the project’s objective, ARCHIVE Global worked closely with partners such as Grimshaw Architects, JP Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University, and Housing and Building Research Institute.
Since 2014, Mud to Mortar has:
- Improved 295 structures through which 1,259 people received new floors
- Reached 11,621 people through training
- Reached 1,941,103 people through media campaign
- Trained 139 masons in Mud to Mortar construction methodology
The project has reduced diarrheal diseases, but also proved that the flooring intervention has a number of health and social co-benefits, making the return on investment high.
While it seems incredible that the simple replacement of dirt floors with metal mesh and concrete construction, along with public workshops, could result in such astonishing results, an independent evaluation of the project supports it.
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