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Architects for Aid make Pakistan progress

This concept design for new, prefabricated animal shelters has been drawn up to help devastated communities in the earthquake-hit area of northern Pakistan.

The proposals have been devised by Sam Price, of London-based practice UV Architects, who recently became charity Architects for Aid's (AfA's) first volunteer to visit the disaster zone.

During his fact-finding trip, Price worked alongside the World Society for the Protection of Animals to find ways of housing livestock such as buffalo and cows - animals vital in the battle to sustain and feed the many thousands of survivors from the 8 October earthquake.

The disaster has already claimed nearly 100,000 lives and fears are growing that the harsh Himalayan winter will claim even more unless shelter is found for both humans and animals.

Price's designs features a prefab 'kit of parts', which can be flat packed for transporting up mountain roads, and proposes the use of corrugated galvanised iron.

The 25-year-old architect said: 'I was there for one week - I then came back and worked up the design with engineers.

'The worst part for me was seeing people starting to remake their buildings with materials which I know will not take snow loads. I could see the buildings would fall down in weeks but I had no time to help out.'

Price hopes that by suggesting construction with iron sheets, the local people will be discouraged from 'loading the roofs with mud' - a practice which resulted in innumerable deaths during the quake.

The AJ has learned that in the coming weeks more AfA volunteers will be heading out to the devastated Pakistan/Kashmiri border to lend a hand with the rescue effort.

Among them is a colleague of Price's from UV Architects and another from Azhar Architecture, who will designing homes for the displaced communities in and around the city of Balakot.

by Richard Waite

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