3. Permanent housing units
Day 4 – In Kovalam, a fishing village south of Chennai, Family Care Foundation undertook building permanent housing units for villagers whose houses were washed away in the tsunami.
This afternoon we meet with village elders to discuss the housing units, since all such business must traditionally go through the village council.
We are building these houses for roughly $4200 each, each designed with a filled-foundation that rises 4 feet off the ground, and with rebar-reinforced piles that go 14 feet into the sand. A structural engineer checked the foundations before building preceded, a necessary delay we explain to the village elders.
Many fishing villages like this, living at poverty line subsistence, were situated along the southeastern coast of India where the infamous Asian tsunami hit, resulting in loss of lives and livelihood that fateful December day. It’s among these marginalized people in Tamil Nadu state that Family Care focused our rebuilding efforts.