November 12, 2010

volunteering at Pescomaggiore

On the 6th of April 2009 an earthquake hit the region of L'Aquila in central Italy. Both L'Aquila and many small villages in the area closeby were severely hit and damaged. Entire city centers fell to the ground leaving hundreds dead and thousands without homes.
After the earthquake a lot of work had to be
done in order to restore and rebuild new housing. The housing built by the government had a cost of 2800 euro/m2 a cost way above necessary.
That's one of the reasons that some of the inhabitants of Pescomaggiore decided to build their own
houses without having to be dependent on the government homes. They founded the group E.V.A. (eco villaggio autocostruttivo) They wanted an eco-friendly and low cost home and started looking into the different options. They soon got to learn about "Straw bale houses" and decided that was the way to go. Thanks to the donation of the land and volunteers they could get the building cost down to just 600 euro/m2. Not only are the houses low cost but they are also extremely well insulated. Despite the exteem weather in that area, a wooden oven is more than enough to provide heating for the homes. A system of rain water collection and fitodepuration provides them with water for their agricultural area.

The photos here are taken from the destroyed village of Paganica. Situations like these where the facade has completely collapsed leaving the rooms open like a eery doll house are not uncommon. Walking through this abbandoned city center you really feel a heavyness on your chest as you start to think of the desperation that was felt the night of the earthquake. Imagining people waking up in darkness at 03.32 finding that their homes were falling opon them. Desperatly trying to find love ones in the dark of the night and having continuous smaller earthquakes shake your world onece again. One can not imagine what they went through and the least I felt I could do, was to help them re-build their homes. That's why I spen

One of the completely destroyed houses of Paganica.

One of the finished houses of E.V.A.

Building the walls of hay!
The natural ocre colouring used to paint walls, floors, etc.
Me sanding the door frames..
Me sanding the door frames.
The wild bunch.
Me and some of the other volunteers.
Walk a bout.
The wild ferrel back from picking 5kgs of tomatoes.

No comments:

Post a Comment