Many thanks for your question, Julian.
In effect, Habitat or Humanity is responding to the earthquake in Nepal with shelter assistance. Our general strategy known as "Pathways to Permanence" calls for the reduction of vulnerability as we provide and enable shelter assistance to those affected by disaster. We recognize that affected families and communities are the first responders to their situation and their efforts should be recognized and supported by humanitarian agencies. Habitat advocates for emergency and early recovery shelter interventions that point to permanent shelter and settlements by following an incremental process of "sheltering".
Specifically for Nepal, Habitat is invoved in distribution of emergency shelter kits and rubble and debris removal that allows for next steps in the process of "sheltering". Working in coordination and collaboration with the Nepal Shelter Cluster Habitat will also be involved in safety and structural assessments of damaged houses, to allow families safe return or determine next steps.
Eventually, Habitat will implement house repairs and the construction of new core houses. In Nepal, Habitat has developed a house design that utilizes treated bamboo as the main structural system (columns, beams, roof rafters and purlins). The wall system is also composed of bamboo stripes with a finish of cement-sand mortar plaster. This solution is innovative in the sense that utilizes vernacular materials widely available, it is safe and resistant to seismic forces and is sustainable and friendly for house expansions.