A building alternative for Philippine relief

It was distressing to hear of Typhoon Ondoy’s strike on the Philippines. I was particularly upset because, only days before it hit, I had arrived from a holiday there with my partner, daughter and mother-in-law. I felt relieved and grateful, but also somewhat guilty. We got home safe and sound, while the people we left (behind) had no escape.

On an internet blog, I found this picture of a rescuer who was carrying a dead child covered in mud. I couldn’t help but cry. She didn’t look much older than my own.

I watched on youtube and the Filipino news of the floodwaters and people trying to escape and kept thinking to myself “that could’ve been us”.

There were questions that ran around in my mind, “Are they getting enough help?” “How can they re-build everything?” “Will they be okay?”

It wasn’t enough to look to government officials and the media for answers. I wanted to hear alternative answers.

Michael Reynolds is a ‘biotect’ (earth-friendly architect) who has designed sustainable infrastructure since the 1970’s. His company has constructed safe buildings from recycled materials and materials found natural to the land, all around the world.

There have been teams to help aid in disaster relief such as the tsunami that struck in South East Asia in 2004.

It has been documented that these bio-structures are strong enough to withhold stronger forces than conventional infrastructure.

They are able to collect and recycle water, as well as generate electricity from wind and solar power. This could be an effective start to rebuilding the Philippines.

However, funding is needed to send relief effort, so please contact us if you can help. For more information on these sustainable structures, send an email to kbase@earthship.net or visit the website at www.earthship.net.

? Maria M., Plumpton, NSW.