Momentum for Change Energy Efficient Housing for the Poor


Focus areas: Adaptation; Mitigation
Location: Sindh, Pakistan
Established: April 2009
Completed: April 2010

In Pakistan, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by UNDP, designed an award winning, low-cost, energy-efficient and disaster resistant housing solution popularly known as the "Benazir Housing Technology". This was showcased in the GSSD Expo 2010 (Washington DC) and 2011 (Rome) as "A Poor Person's House in the Age of Climate Change".

The Government of Sindh, Pakistan, co-financed this pilot project to construct 400 such housing units in three different districts. The President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, inaugurated those housing colonies, which were later proven to be truly disaster resistant as they withstood Cyclone Phet, the floods in 2010 and heavy rains in 2011.

Mitigation / Adaptation

Social and environmental benefits

Potential for scaling-up and replication

The activity builds resilience in the disaster prone areas of Badin, Thatta and Karachi by offering a unique housing solution, which combines disaster risk reduction, energy efficiency and low cost technology.

The ownership of these houses was given to the women, which is a substantial breakthrough in these gender sensitive poverty and disaster stricken areas. The technology and project focuses on zero-usage of wood in the construction and roof, and encourages locally available, environment friendly construction material. The proven resilience of this housing structure has not only saved lives but also ended a cycle of poverty caused by frequent disasters.

After the proven resilience and further research by GEF SGP Pakistan on disaster resistant housing solutions, it is a global call to pilot and mainstream these houses in the different disaster prone parts of the world. These housing solutions are not only good adaptation measures, but also support for climate change mitigation efforts.


Photo Credits: Masood Lohar / SGP Pakistan and Satomi Kato