One month ago, a severe flood swept across Pakistan, damaging nearly 110,000 homes. Soon aid groups will have to move beyond providing immediate, life-saving assistance and begin thinking about how to help people rebuild their homes and lives. But will they repeat mistakes made four years ago?
In 2010, Pakistan was hit by a devastating flood affecting nearly 20 million people. While the humanitarian response saved thousands of lives, well-intentioned aid efforts to help people build shelters using bamboo – standard local building material – also inadvertently inflated the price of bamboo well above local pay cheques and pushed businesses further into debt as they were left with stock they couldn’t sell.