Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Better Shelter
On 25 April, several districts of Nepal were struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by numerous after shocks, killing over 8000 people and destroying 300 000 homes. Thousands of people were left without shelter and access to basic services such as medical care. On the 29 April, medical teams from the independent humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started reaching people trapped in isolated mountain villages in remote areas of the country.
As one of the first respondents, MSF ordered 50 Better Shelter units for their operations in Nepal. The shelters were successfully delivered earlier this month, when early recovery work after the earthquake was being implemented.
MSF are primarily using the Better Shelter units as temporary health care facilities in the district, to help ensure the continuation of basic primary health care, until more permanent construction options for the medical structures may be realised.
“The destruction after the earthquake in Nepal is impressive and it is sad to see houses, temples and entire parts of villages in ruins, knowing so many people were killed. Many families have lost loved ones as well as sources of livelihoods and it will take a long time to rebuild homes and the communal infrastructure that was damaged. At Better Shelter we are pleased to have provided shelters to MSF, enabling them to provide medical assistance to people in these villages” says John Tzanos, Head of Service at Better Shelter.
MSF personnel and John Tzanos, Head of Service at Better Shelter, also teamed up to assemble test constructions on site: two Better Shelter units were linked together, thus forming a longer, larger unit with a shaded open area at one of the gable ends. The design of Better Shelter is intended to enable this type of adaptation to accommodate different conditions and needs. Current research and development carried out by the Better Shelter design team focuses on further improvements of the shelter’s modular functions.
LocationGorkha District, Nepal
Number of units50
PurposeTemporary primary health clinics