After the Ecuador earthquake: helping victims rebuild their homes

An earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale destroyed homes and communities throughout Ecuador in April 2016, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. With the epicentre in the north-west of the country, more than 30,000 people have lost their homes to the natural disaster. To help out citizens, the government of Ecuador, along with several relief agencies, appealed for solutions to rebuild the stricken areas through the aid programme Casatón, Houses for Ecuador.

Prone to earthquakes, Ecuador has a long history of natural disasters. On average, people living in areas susceptible to earthquakes only experience one that is above 7 on the 10 point Richter scale, once every 50 years. But Ecuadorians have already come across this level three times in 20 years. In 2010 a 7.1 earthquake hit the country and only twelve years before an earthquake of 7.2 Richter was measured.

The event of April 2016 had a force equivalent to 20 billion kilograms of dynamite and lasted for 20 minutes, enough to displace building foundations and make cracks in the earth. Even though the epicentre was located in the north-west of Ecuador, tremors could be felt throughout the whole country.

Building modular homes for people in need

As a rapid building method, dry construction and pre-fabricated solutions are the go-to means. Specialising in just that, Etex company EBM Ecuador set out to help Ecuadorians in their time of need. The company worked with local authorities and donated 20 dry construction Moduplak modular housing packs. These packs, supplied by neighbouring Etex company Skinco Colombia, provide an easy to construct, temporary housing solution.

In addition, EBM Ecuador participated in a TV fundraiser so they could provide and build more of these modular houses. By the end of June, the company had raised enough money to build an additional 90 units, and is still trying to raise more to reach the target goal of 100. In total 120 units will have been donated to the cause. The first of these modules were assembled on 16 July. Here’s a look behind the scenes.

The Modupak The Modupak The Modupak

Eager to help the Ecuadorians in times of need, Etex company EBM Ecuador and neighbouring Etex company Skinco Colombia donated 20 Moduplak modular housing packs to the Casatón, Houses for Ecuador project. These temporary shelters are built using wooden frames and finished with corrugated fibre cement roofs and fibre cement boards. Thanks to these packs, the earthquake victims will soon have a place to call home.

Easy construction Easy construction Easy construction

The Moduplak dry construction packs are designed to be easy to assemble. So much so, that people are able to put together their new homes on their own. They are a welcome solution for the many homeless who are ready to take the first step to rebuild their lives.

Volunteers to help rebuild (2) Volunteers to help rebuild (2) Volunteers to help rebuild (2)

Numerous volunteers responded to the Casatón, Houses for Ecuador project by donating money to provide Moduplak modular housing packs for displaced Ecuadorians. They also donated their time by helping to construct these temporary shelters. The real challenge now is to transform these emergency homes into permanent dwellings.


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