STAFF REPORT SEHAR: Farmers in Layya district, fed up with repeated floods in their village, have rebuilt their homes on raised dirt platforms five to six feet high, shored up with eucalyptus trees planted around the edges.
Flooding is an annual phenomenon in the district. Last summer, around 226,000 people were affected and crops on more than 41,000 hectares (101,000 acres) were destroyed.
But the flood-resilient homes in Sehar, which were mostly rebuilt in late 2010, survived, just as they did during heavy flooding in the three years from 2011 to 2013.
“Even though floods still strike our areas in a more intense and frequent manner, we remain safe,” said Zulekha Hussain, a 34-year-old villager who lives in one of the raised houses.
The idea of building homes on dirt platforms came from bitter experience, villagers say.
“We learned from previous floods that the only houses that braved the floods were those built on five- to six-feet-high ground dotted with trees,” said HabibullahSehar.
The wheat farmer said his house collapsed in floods five times between 2000 and 2010, and each time he was forced to rebuild – until 2010, when he decided to adapt and rebuild his home on a dirt platform five feet above the ground.