Hope Floats: The Community Rafts of Fizagat, Pakistan
On September 4th and 5th the Karachi chapter of Architecture for Humanity continued post-flood assessments in partnership with the Karachi Relief Fund. On Sunday the team was surveying a potential site at Fizagat, which is approximately 3-5km from Saidu Shaif. They were stunned by what they found. A village that has designed their way out of the floods and into economic recovery.
Chapter leader Mahboob Khan explained, "The Swat riverbed extends over 300m at this point, with both sides of the river supporting large populations. During our trip we stumbled across an ingenious series of handmade rafts that were made from tire tubes and bamboo by local villagers. At least 50 of these rafts were seen crossing the water with a number under construction."
This 'found' project is a clear example of a local innovation working without international aid and communities working collaboratively to build a better future. For all the talk on 'design for change' it is those who are on the ground and challenged every day that prove that creativity is an instinctive trait in the human ability to survive. For those of us who fund projects it is our role to embrace and support this natural instinct and not crush it with the weight of predetermined international response.
When we take the time to look and listen, the quiet heroes emerge.
Originally posted on The Department of Small Works and first hand reporting by Mahboob Khan