Humanitarian Transitional Shelter Development

Humanitarian Transitional Shelter Development

My name is Dave Watson and i want to change the world of Humanitarian Shelter/Disaster Relief for ever!! It's a sad fact that 1 in 122...

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  • What if we could provide high quality shelters to those in need, within minutes?

  • What if those same shelters could be modified to provide a much longer term shelter solution?

  • What if we could gift some of those shelters to Humanitarian/Aid organisations?

  • Would you help???

My name is Dave Watson and i want to change the world of Humanitarian Shelter/Disaster Relief for ever!! It's a sad fact that 1 in 122 humans alive today are either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum - that's 60 million people!!!! (Click here to see the UNHCR "Figures at a Glance")  We think that it's sadder still that over 2.6 million people (50% under 18) live and have lived in tented camps for over 5 years (Click here for the UNHCR Shelter page). These tents haven't changed or improved in design/materials for decades. 

I'm the Managing Director of Global Resilience Services Ltd, a very small company based in Cheshire, UK and we've been involved with new shelter design and build for 12 years now, mainly in Emergency Service/Disaster Recovery situations (i.e. decontamination). We're hoping to use our existing (but heavy) and patented SafeFrame shelter design to create a much lighter (but still durable) shelter suitable for shipping to refugees in the case of a disaster relief situation.

We propose to build 10 off newly developed "SFL25" tents for use in a humanitarian shelter environment. These tents will be provided as gifts and so the initial £20K cost will be partly funded by us here at GRS (£10K) and partly funded by kind donors who see the benefit in providing refugees with a more durable, weather resistant tent that can be transformed into a home by the addition of local materials, once the immediate need for warmth and shelter has been established.

Please  see below to view a video giving a more graphic display of how easy the shelter is to construct (5-10 minutes!) and how refugees might benefit long term.

Designed to offer much greater longevity than the simple polycotton tents currently given to refugees (currently only 6-9 months), this simple design requires no tools, no height aids and is simple and cheap to transport and very simple to construct. The "A" frame aluminium design accommodates local materials such as tarpaulins, bamboo and wood to allow the tent to become a more permanent home as time moves on. 

This design has been almost 3 years on the drawing board but now that a prototype has been built, we need to move on to prove the concept by giving 10 shelters away free of charge to international charitable organisations who work with refugees on a daily basis (e.g International Red Cross, Medicins Sans Frontieres). These organisations can then house 10 families and test the shelters to destruction!

The current cost to build a one off shelter is circa GBP£2K/USD$2.6K but volume build (1000 +) would immediately bring that down to the GBP£1200/USD$1600 mark which may be considered more acceptable to the buying organisations. However, if donors know of materials and/or suppliers that could help to bring the costs down further then this would also be of great help - there is a target price of GBP£750/USD$1000 to think about and aim at.

Whilst there is an end goal of providing shelters in volume on a commercial basis (2 years plus), there is a real altruistic attitide to this project from the Directors of GRS Ltd whose intention is to shake up this stagnant and monopolised marketplace by ultimately offering displaced refugees a much more humane and comfortable way of living whilst they get life back on track. It is our opinion that the refugees deserve more than a cheap cotton (not always waterproof) tent that they can't stand up in, will rot through weather extremes and can't be adjusted to accommodate the extremes of seasonal weather.

We don't suggest that this is the panacea solution but we do know that it's a much better solution than is currently being produced in 1000's off (by poorly paid labour?) in Asia.

GRS have been talking to the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) for a while now (and indeed it was their idea to adapt the SafeFrame originally!) but need to push on to the International platform and prove that this thing works.

Feel free to make direct contact with myself or my team here at GRS if you have any specific questions that you have: d.watson@grs-uk.com or info@grs-uk.com

Thanks for reading!