Habitat for Humanity Awarded 2013 FedEx Award for Innovations in Disaster Preparedness

Photo By: Habitat for Humanity

InterAction and FedEx today are honoring Habitat for Humanity with the 2013 FedEx Award for Innovations in Disaster Preparedness for the organization’s work in earthquake-prone Tajikistan.

The winning innovation gives communities a low-cost way to retrofit homes made of mud walls so that they better withstand earthquakes. The technology uses timber framing and mulberry branches that are abundant in the communities.

“By making this innovative and affordable solution accessible to local communities, Habitat for Humanity has helped vulnerable communities prepare for and protect themselves from future earthquakes,” said Sam Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. “We are proud to honor them for their work.”

The FedEx Award for Innovations in Disaster Preparedness recognizes innovation in the NGO community that reduces communities’ vulnerability to hazards or natural disasters and increases their capacity to prevent or cope with such adverse events. Through this award, InterAction and FedEx aim to promote and share innovative ideas on how to improve disaster preparedness.

Working with the Tajikistan Institute of Seismology and Seismic-resistant Construction, Habitat for Humanity developed technology using timber framing and abundant mulberry branches to retrofit mud brick walls to withstand earthquakes. Habitat for Humanity partnered with local Tajik governments to provide training in the technology to community members in eight communities. The success of the project led the Tajik government to approve the technology and establish new building codes for rural house reconstruction.

“We appreciate this recognition of our work in Tajikistan, where Habitat has proven seismic-resistant construction need not be costly and can be made available to low-income families,” said Kip Scheidler, the senior director for global disaster response at Habitat for Humanity.

Learn more about the innovative projects submitted for the FedEx Award for Innovations in Disaster Preparedness.