The project was dedicated to the alleviation of poverty through the improvement of shelter conditions and upgrading of slums for vulnerable communities of informal settlements, while strengthening communities and increasing household savings and credits.
The community also developed a continuous dialogue with the municipality to collaborate for the benefit of vulnerable communities, resulting in a positive change in perception of the local governing body towards the impoverished communities. This was also the beginning of community architecture initiatives in Nepal.
Habitability and Comfort
- Fear of eviction, loss of shelter investment, and doubts on governmental decisions and the community itself reduced, and the confidence level of the community grew.
- Upgrading of 31 on-site households.
- The city has become a positive supporter of a community-driven development, showing progress towards the community achieving secure housing.
Community and Connectivity
- The community was responsible for the management of the funds, procurement of the material, and building the houses.
- Households located along a stretch of road near a community forest and national park. Therefore, every household is a member of the forest with easy access to timber for firewood and construction.
- Maximum participation of women including management of funds and decision-making during planning, development, and implementation phases.
- Community involvement in construction, where members of the community helped build each other’s homes, strengthening the sense of community and ownership.
Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change
- Community members developed viable solutions for their housing problems and work together to ensure secure tenure in the city by being organised, strengthening savings and communities, and developing management skills.
- Community established an effective model to resolve issues of squatters in urban areas, which can be replicated in other communities and cities.
- The use of open spaces opposite to the settlement for urban agriculture, creating a self-reliant and resilient community.
Resource Efficiency and Circularity
- There has been a variation in the type of construction materials for the houses depending on the financial status of the households.
- Houses built entirely by the residents, showing a variety of incremental building strategies and budgets, using a variety of materials and construction systems, mostly purchased collectively in bulk by the community committee at subsidised rates.
- The house construction was funded by loans from the Asian Coalition for Community Action programme (ACCA), budgeting $40,000 USD.
- Infrastructure was granted from the municipality – approximately $3,000 USD from the local government for landfilling, road, drainage and electricity. Community members contributed to its implementation.
- The cost of upgrading or rebuilding the houses came to $2,000 – 3,000 USD per family.
- Each family was given loans up to $1,000 USD, with a minimum interest rate of 5%, payable over 5 years.
- The owners of the houses contributed to 50% of the total construction cost from savings.
- Savings of the community grew to a very strong capacity in recent years, with repayment of loans being very organised and regular.
- Received funds from the municipality for in-filling the land, as well as public water pumps, and the mobilisation of resources to further support infrastructure development, such as drainage in the community.
OrganisationPartners: Lumanti Support Group for Shelter, ACCA programme, The National Federation of Informal Communities ‘Nepal Basobas Basti Samrachyan Samaj’, The National Women’s Federation ‘Nepal Mahila Ekta Samaj’, The Amar Deep Women’s Savings Cooperative, Community Forest Department, Bharatpur Municipality and Bharatpur Citizens Forum.