In Southern Bangladesh, cyclones such as Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009) periodically disrupt rural livelihoods. As a result of climate change, such extreme events are likely to be more frequent and require solutions which enhance rural communities’ resilience to the damages caused by the cyclones. In this context, the WorldFish Center and Practical Action embarked on the development of climate-resilient housing for these rural communities. A successful prototype, which is resilient to cyclones and is water, food, energy, and space efficient, has been developed at a cost of USD 6,000. The house is built on an elevated platform, in order to ensure that it remains above the flood line and combines various climate-smart technologies, including:
- Rainwater harvesting system with filter: to provide water for drinking and irrigation.
- Rainwater-fed multipurpose fish tanks: for aquaculture, as well as the use of nitrogen enriched water for irrigation/fertilization.
- Vertical agriculture system: increases food production and protects plants from flooding and saltwater intrusion.
- Drip irrigation: reduces water wastage by 17.5% and increases production by 28.4% in chili cultivation.
- Barrel composting system: for waste management and fertilization of vertical agriculture system.
- Improved cook stoves: portable and can be shifted during floods, reduces health risks, and requires 50% less firewood.
- Twin pit sanitary toilet: protected from floodwater intrusion, and reduces flies, odours, and pathogens.
Relationship to CSA
The combination of different climate-smart innovations and the unique house design increases occupants’ resilience to extreme weather events, while increasing productivity. Some mitigation co-benefits can also be expected from the waste management system and improved cook stoves.
Impact and lessons learned
The ‘Climate-Smart Housing’ project is still at the pilot stage. However, the prototype provides valuable lessons on integration of multiple climate-smart innovations at the household level.
Hossain E, Nurun Nabi SM, Kaminski A. 2015. Climate-smart house: Housing that is cyclone resistant and food, energy and water efficient in Bangladesh. Program Brief: 2015-27. Penang, Malaysia: WorldFish.https://cgspace.cgiar.org/rest/bitstreams/56873/retrieve Since cyclones Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009), communities in southern Bangladesh have increasingly needed to protect their homes and livelihoods from destructive natural disasters. WorldFish embarked on a climate-resilient housing project in 2013, building a prototype climate-smart house that is resilient to cyclones and is also water, food, energy and space efficient.