Philippines: Soon after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines in November 2013, skilled carpenter Gener Paduga was on a boat distributing food and plastic roofs to affected victims in Palawan. Around him was a harrowing scene of devastation left behind by the deadliest tropical cyclone to ever hit the Philippines. It killed 6,300 people, affected some 3.4 million families and damaged more than one million houses nationwide.
In Palawan – a coastal province on the remote western border where Gener was born – collapsed homes, fallen trees and debris from coastal communities were scattered across a wide area of destruction and despair.
As he took in the bleak situation, Gener realised people needed more than food and plastic roofs to rebuild their lives. They needed new homes, he thought, that would be resilient and strong, and easy to build at low cost.
“I started to think that I should make a proper design for these people, and how to save time and money. Something easy you wouldn’t need to buy.”
Then an idea came to his mind – a simple bamboo structure that could withstand storms and save islanders from total devastation should they face destructive typhoons in the future. He later named the design Tuka – a Tagalog word for beak – after its unique curved roof.
The structure is compact, light and airy. There are two big openings in the front and at the back where walls usually are. The feature, he added, allows strong winds to pass through the hut instead of hitting against its walls and knocking it down.
Unlike most houses in Palawan, the Tuka has a large roof that also serves as the walls. Made of dry palm leaves, it drapes on two sides of the bamboo structure in a slight curve and stretches to nearly touch the ground. Compared to a pitched roof, Gener said his design helps reduce the impact of rain on the roof surface and enables rainwater to flow to the ground faster.
Read the full channel news Asia story by Pichayada Promchertoo here:-