To highlight the rural housing program while focusing on progress and identifying slow progress area. The real time data is achieved through ERRA rural housing sector manager and while analyzing data inferences which have been drawn by selecting different variable which have direct influences on program. The progress of ERRA rural housing is going well with some specifications and design issues. The research was limited to the data available on plinth and lintel level housing reconstructions. Although progress is periodically analyzed is ERRA but a logical and methodological approach have been developed through data mining which automatically guided to the problem areas.

Keywords: Housing Reconstruction, Plinth, Lintel, Compliant, non-complaint, ERRA (Earthquake Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Authority)


The October 2005 Earthquake brought huge devastation in parts of AJK & NWFP Provinces. Hundreds and thousand rendered homeless by earthquake. The Government of Pakistan through Donor’s funding started rural housing[1]. The program is guided by overarching principle of “Build Back Better” through owner, driven, assisted and inspected reconstructions regime supported through community mobilization[2]. Seismically resistant housing reconstructions and rehabilitation and inculcation of a culture of voluntary seismic compliance[3] in the affected districts of NWFP and AJK are the envisaged outcomes.


The total area is 30,000 sq km in nine districts of NWFP & AJK. The program objective is to rebuild houses as per seismic resistant standards for rehabilitation of people’s lives, enhancement of their skills and capabilities and strengthened social capital[4].


A decentralization pattern of implementation featuring beneficiary ownership and involvement[5] is provided in rural housing reconstruction. ERRA at the central level is responsible for setting standards, providing standardized structural design options and construction guidelines, developing transparent criteria for PO selection and overall coordination and monitoring[1]. A multi-tiered institutional support structure from federal to village level is in place for training and monitoring activities[5].

The array of institutional mechanism includes Village Reconstruction Committees (VRC) Housing Reconstruction Centers (HRCs) and monitoring teams[4]. In coordination with implementing partners in NWFP & AJK. ERRA also consolidates the technical, artisan and house owner training program provides unified training guide lines and training curricula and trains training coordinators[2]. A technical advisory and design approved body is housed at the federal level for development of Standard Structural Design and Construction Guidelines[6].

Rural Housing Sector has established a review and approval mechanism for construction guidelines[2], structural design, and, training curriculum through the development of reference minimal structural design standards’ that meet internationally accepted standards for low cost earthquake resistant housing. The adoption of these standards ensures that houses are ‘built back better’ and are resistant to any further seismic activity[7][8].


There has been significant progress in reconstruction and rehabilitation of the housing sector. The infrastructure required to successfully ‘built back better’ the 630000 housing units that were damaged by the earthquake[2], has been substantially developed. This development has involved providing 84,000 people with training relevant to the housing reconstruction and rehabilitation program; the establishment of twelve Housing Reconstruction Centers; and the creation of 65 operational Construction Material Hubs[1][9].

The effectiveness of the housing reconstruction strategy is evidenced by the fact that the assessment phase has been completed, and that 93 percent of MoUs have been signed[1].

The disbursement of c ash grants to eligible parties is obviously one of the most important indicators of performance in the implementation of the housing reconstruction and rehabilitation program. In this regard, 422,777 beneficiaries have received Rs. 29.82 billion[2].

25 percent of households affected by the earthquake have started reconstruction. Of this number, 75 percent of reconstruction complies with ERRA’s earthquake resistant standards; In an attempt to fast-track reconstruction activity. Rural Housing Sector has informed and mobilized 600 Progress Monitoring Teams that tour affected villages and provide technical expertise. In an attempt to improve the compliance rate, rural housing sector has further extended its existing ‘menu’ of compliant designs to include a wide variety of reconstruction options.

Out of the four urban centers planned for re-development, master plans for two cities have been finalized, while master plans for the remaining two cities are currently being finalized[10].


Data regarding rural housing reconstruction was gathered from ERRA’s rural housing project coordinator for AJK & NWFP. The analysis of program is done through available data. Charts / graph are prepared on available data and inferences are drawn indicating slow progress area and reasons for slow progress are identified. Focus of the research is on those areas where progress is less then 95%.


The diagram shows the overall progress at plinth/lintel level constructions on both the provinces.

It also shows slow progress areas are lintel construction in AJK and plinth level construction in NWFP. If we further narrow down on the theses areas we would be able to identify the cause of slow progress.

The graph shows maximum complaint ratios at plinth level in AJK. However, %age of in progress is very low. No work started cases are 10% in NWFP and we can do little to reduce this %age. By analyzing this graph there is little room of improvement in progress at plinth level in NWFP.

The graph shows that areas of slow progress are “in progress”. No work started ‘and non-complaint’. The figures from in progress variable after completion will either shift to ‘complaint’ or ‘non-complaint’. In case of complaint figures are improved then overall progress will improve. In case of non complaint figures are increased then we have to further narrow down and find the cause of slow progress. No work started variable means people are not interested to reconstruct their houses and we can do little to reduce this %age. We have to further narrow down in non-complaint in AJK at lintel level.

The above graph shows that major bulk of non-complaint houses are built by concrete blocks, mixed, timber and stone. In mixed type of construction again block is used. People of the area are used to this kind of construction but what make them non-complaint is obviously the design problem / non-adherence of design standards by ERRA.

These financial figures show the %age distribution of financial disbursement of plinth & lintel level construction. It means that all those who have constructed their house at plinth level i.e. 92% have got 96.78% payment complete. The remaining payment is stopped due to data base entry issues and will be recovered later.

All household who have got their payment have completed their houses till lintel level i.e. 85%. It means that all those who have started reconstructing their till plinth level are interested to complete their houses as per design specification provided by ERRA and they have received 82.77% payment.


1. Overall progress is slow at lintel level construction.
2. Slow progress is at lintel level in AJK.
3. Slow progress is at plinth level in NWFP.
4. There is a little room of improvement in progress in plinth level construction in NWFP.
5. Majority of houses which are non-complaint in AJK at lintel level are due to in proper size and design of block construction. The design of timber and stone construction is also a problem.
6. All the households who have constructed their houses till plinth level are interested to complete their houses as per earthquake resistant design which is a major %age figure.


1. Overall progress is satisfactory.

2. There are issues in lintel level construction in AJK and if addressed properly will enhance the overall progress.

3. The problem areas for slow progress is in proper size and design, of block and mixed/timber construction.

4. Competent authorities should modify the block size & design not compromising in safety standards, to accommodate the people.

5. Local block manufacturers’ be trained to qualify the standards set and skilled manpower be trained to implement and understand the importance of earthquake design in all types of construction.


[1] ERRA M&E Report 2007 chapter-5

[2] Rural Housing Annual Review Chapter-5 from 2005-2006

[3] Mohsen Ghafory – Ashtiany, Mahmood Hoscafri “Post-bam Earthquake: recovery and reconstruction” Risk Management Center of Excellence, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), Tehran, Iran.

[4] Assem Inam, “Institutions, routines, and crises: Post-earthquake housing recovery in Maxico City and log Angles, “ College of Architecture and Urban Planning, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069, USA.

[5] Colin H. Davidson, Cassidy Johson Ganzalo Lizarralde, Nesen Dikmen Alicia Sliwinski, “Truth and Myths about Community participation in post-disaster housing projects”, Habitat International 31 92007) 100-115.

[6] H. Mumtaz, S.Habib Mughal, M.Stephenson Jitendra K. Bothara ‘The challenges of reconstruction after the October 2005 Kashmir Earthquake” 2008 NZSEE Conference Newzealand.

[7] Pervez Tahir, “Disaster Studies in Pakistan. A Social Science Perspective”, The 17th Biennial General Conference of Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC) 27-30 September 2007 Nagoya University, Japan.

[8] K. S. Jaiswal, D.J. Wald, “Developing a Global Building inventory for earthequake loss assessment and Risk Management”, The 14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering October 12-17, 2008, Beijing, China.

[9] Carolyn Hayles, “An exploration of current planning, design and building issues in post-disaster housing reconstruction.

[10] C. Ghosh, “Earthquake Risk Mitigation Strategies in India, “The 12th International Conference of International Association for Computer Methods and advances in Geo-mechanics 1-6 October, 2008, Goa, India.

About the Author

Absar Hussain Usmani He is B.Sc in Civil Engineering from "National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan" and MS in Engineering Management from "Center of Advanced Studies in Engineering, Islamabad, Pakistan"


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