Homes built by homeowners in Sri Lanka
March 16, 2022
Habitat for Humanity promotes innovative construction materials and technologies through multi-year partnerships such as the 14-million-euro (USD15.8 million) Homes not Houses project funded by the European Union in Sri Lanka. Featuring a homeowner-driven approach, about 45 per cent of the homes were built with innovative, sustainable and low-carbon construction technologies and materials, such as compressed stabilised earth blocks or CSEBs.
By the completion of the project in mid-June 2021, more than 2,370 conflict-affected families were able to resettle and rebuild their lives and future through sustainable housing and community economic development. Through Habitat Sri Lanka’s partner World Vision Lanka, about 46,000 people received skills training and livelihood support, and improved disaster resilience.
“Ours was the first CSEB home in our tightly knit community,” said Thushanthini who lives in Navagirinagar village in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. “Many of my neighbours came to visit us out of curiosity about this new material. Once they saw how versatile the bricks are and how nice they look even without plastering, the CSEBs became a popular selection for home construction.”
The blocks have the added benefit of boosting the local economy. Thushanthini’s husband, Mathivathanan, was among 138 people trained to produce CSEBs and build with them through the Homes not Houses project.