Bringing together 1,500 volunteers from within Nepal and around the world, Habitat For Humanity’s 32nd annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project will take place in the Chitwan district in Nepal, Nov. 1-6, 2015.
During the week, volunteers will build 100 homes in partnership with low-income families in need of permanent shelter.
“Today these families are living in makeshift grass and thatch huts with mud floors, and over the course of the week we will replace these unstable structures with permanent housing that they can call home,” said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO. “Such improved housing can help families feel a sense of security, as well as enable better educational and health outcomes and create improved employment opportunities. We are looking forward to building alongside Nepali families and helping them to achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.”
Families will be selected based on need, their ability to repay an affordable loan and willingness to contribute their own labor – or sweat equity – toward the construction of their homes.
In celebration of the upcoming build project, Habitat for Humanity Nepal held a groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 28 with local families, government representatives and Habitat partners.
“We are pleased to be part of an important, transformational project that will improve the lives of so many families in the Ratnanagar community in Chitwan,” said Desiree Bartosiak, Habitat for Humanity Nepal’s national director. “Thanks to the support of volunteers and sponsors, we will be able to help 100 families have safer places to live. They will no longer have to fear their roofs getting blown away by the wind or water leaking into their homes when it rains.”
Habitat for Humanity Nepal has been partnering successfully in Chitwan for several years. Most recently, volunteers from 16 countries gathered last year to build homes in the district in partnership with 36 families during Habitat’s Everest Build III.
Since 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have given a week of their time to help Habitat build and repair houses while raising awareness of the need for affordable housing around the world. Last month, President Carter shared that he has begun treatment for melanoma and his participation in this year’s build project will depend on counsel from his medical team.
“President and Mrs. Carter have been champions of Habitat for Humanity for more than three decades, and we are grateful for their support and passion for our mission,” said Reckford. “We remain hopeful circumstances will allow them to join us in November as we continue to work toward a shared goal of building homes, community and hope in Nepal.”
For more information about this year’s Carter Work Project, visit: habitat.org/cwp /2015.
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- Habitat For Humanity LA To Honor Magic Johnson
- Habitat For Humanity Send Their Thoughts And Prayers To Jimmy Carter
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Much of the Levant is under siege from a large dust storm right now covering Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel with parts of Cyprus and Turkey also affected. Meteorologists pin the poor weather on a low-pressure system that’s blanketing the region, and sands blown in from the east. The storm has prompted public health warnings, sending dozens of people to the hospital, and so far killing at least five. But – according to a recent report Nature Climate Change – this is not the most extreme weather heading our way.
Some weather conditions are predictable. Others come as a complete surprise. In the case of hurricanes, scientists have tagged storms that arise without warning as “black swans”, while “grey swans” are catastrophic storms that could potentially be predicted.
New modelling techniques that correlate historical weather data with evolving physical attributes of a specific area (such as rising sea levels, local geography, and changing weather) show that climate change may heighten risks of experiencing a 10,000-year hurricane on certain coastal cities such as Tampa, Florida; Cairns, Australia and Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf – sometime in the next century.
Academics Ning Lin of Princeton University and Kerry Emmanuel of Massachusetts Institute of Technology assessed the statistical likelihood of hurricanes occurring in these areas and then calculated associated storm surges, which are often the most fatal aspect of tropical cyclones.
Their model predicts that Tampa could experience hurricane storm surges of about 20 feet today and 36 feet by the end of the century. Cairns, with a history of tropical cyclones, is at risk of grey swans due to its proximity to areas that have experienced some of the most destructive storms in the Southern Hemisphere. They predicts that the next major Aussie storm could produce surges approaching 19 feet.
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Lin and Emmanuel also predict that climate change will cause grey swan storm surges to increase in strength and frequency in the coming decades. “We are considering extreme cases,” said Lin. “These are relevant for policy making and planning, especially for critical infrastructure and nuclear power plants.”
And, for the rapidly growing Arab Gulf cities, this is the main message emerging from their modeling. How is new development catering for climate change? What protective or preventative technologies are added to building codes to mitigate damage caused by extreme flooding? And, for these cities that rely on desalination for potable water (and, by extension, depend on utility-scale power plants to keep desalination working), what measures are in planning – and in place – to protect essential services?
Green Prophet doesn’t have the answers, and the Gulf municipalities haven’t figured it out either. And that is the most worrisome sentence of this story.
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