Monday, October 24, 2005

 

Shelter Research and Purchasing

Shelter Research and Purchasing

The Karachi-based Pakistan team has done extensive research on over a dozen Pakistani companies producing and/or importing tents - physically examining and testing tents or verifying tent quality through pictures and other information if unable to physically do so. Given the terrain of the affected areas, the team has identified some basic criteria for tents being delivered to either lower-terrain areas or higher-terrain areas (i.e. the Northern Areas). Our priority is to obtain double-ply winterized tents. As those are in extreme shortage, we are also working with local companies to purchase other high-quality single-ply tents.

Note: All tent exporters and manufacturers are producing tents at lower quality than the norm in order to meet the high demand by various groups and organizations in a timely fashion before winter sets in. Although quality of tents Pakistan-wide has been compromised, our Karachi-based team remains committed to providing the highest quality we can find as soon as possible – as timeliness will make the difference between survival and death.

Accordingly, for the future, we have decided to order a combination of tents from the three different manufacturers/exporters. These include the following:

a) Apparel and Co.: This Lahore-based Company is producing resin-coated heavy denim tents that are water proof and water-repellent (tested) of size 10 x 20, for approximately 5-6 persons each. Each tent is costing us PKS 500 (~$9) as our Lahore team has managed to get donations for the labor and cloth. Funds collected by the group will essentially only pay for accessories including pegs, stakes and ropes. The company is producing about 40 tents daily at approximately PKR 500 (~$9) each.

b) Beyond Borders: This Lahore-based specialist relief tent supplier has been working with the UN for a year and half to supply double-ply winterized tents to Afghanistan. These tents are 4x4 m, with a height of 2m, and a wall height of 0.75m (see enclosed photograph below). As of October 23, 2005, we have received a price quote of PKR 9,700 ($161). A picture of this tent ordered is shown above.

c) Road Trip Company: This Karachi-based Company is producing single-ply flex tents that are water proof and fire extinguishing, of size 15x20, for approximately 7 persons each. Each tent is costing us PKR 3,000 ($50), as labor and accessories of skin and sticks are being provided free of cost by the Company and we are only paying for flex.

Further, we are also looking into alternative forms of shelter. This specifically includes the following:

Bori Sacs, which are either made of polypropylene, jute or cotton. They are filled with sand and hay to be used as building blocks. The loosely filled bags are basically stacked up like bricks, igloo style. The sharply rounded roof also makes water skid off of it. The weight of the bags atop each other makes the shelter almost air proof (hence wind and weather proof, and thereby insulates as well). It takes 160 20 x 30 sacks to make one Bori Igloo; one igloo costs around Rs. 2500.


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