UNESCO/ Reviving Earth Architecture in the Jordan Valley - Palestine

via: youtube
Short video produced by UNESCO Ramallah Office on the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTF-HS) Fund Joint Program: “Livelihood Protection and Sustainable Empowerment of Vulnerable Rural and Refugee Communities in the Jordan Valley” in Aqabet Jaber Refugee Camp.

The Human Security Joint Programme for the Jordan Valley implemented by FAO, UNESCO, UNRWA and UN WOMEN is designed to respond to the protection and livelihood needs of selected vulnerable Palestinian communities and to improve their living conditions by providing them with the skills, tools and techniques to mitigate and cope with the threats they are confronted with.

UNESCO component focuses on improving the physical living conditions and housing standards in the Jordan Valley, where some 30 percent of its inhabitants, including refugees, Bedouins and economic migrants, are deprived of their right to adequate housing. In order to achieve its objectives, UNESCO component is designed to utilise existing and yet untapped opportunities by providing local population with up-to-date know-how and alternative building techniques, notably the "mud-brick", which in the past was extensively used in the area as the most suitable construction material for all typologies of buildings as well as the most environment friendly.

The selected direct beneficiaries (skilled workers and unskilled workers and 3 young architects) will be trained on-the-job on the production and construction of mud-brick utilising the 6 mud-brick structures to be provided by the Programme which shall also serve as pilot demonstration structures. These are: the UNRWA community centre in Aqbet Jabr refugee camp, 4 women centres in various villages in the JV to be utilised by UN Women and its local partners, the museum of Agriculture which is a joint initiative of the Palestinian ministries of Tourism and Antiquities, and Agriculture and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), in addition to the rehabilitation works in selected historical sites.

The first pilot demonstration structure, the UNRWA community centre is a 250 m2 structure that, for training and experimental purposes, will be constructed using different available materials (Adobe Blocks, Compressed Earth Blocks, etc) and building techniques (vaults, domes, flat ceilings, multi-floor, and different kinds of plastering). Over 30 skilled workers, 20 unskilled workers and 3 architects including 7 women are currently benefiting from the on-the-job training through the construction of this pilot under the direct supervision of the UNSCO Team of Consultants.

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