Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan
Habitat's work in Kyrgyzstan
Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan
Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan was established in 1999. A few years later, it started an innovative building method incorporating locally grown cane reed as a construction material. This project won the World Bank award in Washington D.C. in 2006. Currently, Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan focuses on renovations of condominium buildings, finishing of half-built homes and winterization or providing affordable loans to families with mentally disabled family members.
The housing need in Kyrgyzstan
After the collapse of the Soviet system, Kyrgyzstan cut a variety of social benefits, leaving families with fewer resources for housing. Access to basic amenities such as water and sewage is limited, especially for impoverished people and those living in rural areas. Seeking relief from poverty, many families moved to informal settlements on the fringes of Bishkek and other large cities, where they lack secure tenure and decent housing.
Nearly 70 percent of the population live in substandard homes or is homeless. It is not unusual for three generations to be crowded into a single room with no heating or water. People with mental disabilities, such as autism, are among the poorest and most marginalized in Kyrgyzstan. They have trouble obtaining and keeping paid work because of stigma associated with mental health issues and additional responsibilities on family members to offer care. As a result, most of them cannot improve poor housing situations.
How Habitat addresses the need in Kyrgyzstan
Habitat activities in Kyrgyzstan range from new house builds, completion of half-built homes, renovation to condominium block buildings, and providing households with access to tap water in rural communities. In cooperation with the Open Society Institute, Habitat provides decent homes for families where one or more members have mental illnesses.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Kyrgyzstan:
- Condominium repairs and renovations
Condominium repair and renovation is a successfully established project that since 2006 in Kyrgyzstan alone helped more than 3,500 families to find safer and decent shelter. Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan works with condominium associations to identify and repair the most serious problems, which usually are the result of a lack of maintenance of common areas.
- Water and sanitation
Habitat Kyrgyzstan provides access to tap water for rural communities. The households from rural mountainous villages also benefit from cooperation with Habitat. More than 2,000 families enjoy cold and hot tap water facilities from their homes. Necessary water piping works connecting the households to the village water main, together with installed water boilers and wash basins in the kitchens will ensure healthier and safer lives for the villagers.
- Completion of half-built houses, home renovations
Many people in Kyrgyzstan use solid fuel, burning coal and wood to inefficiently keep their houses warm. Habitat Kyrgyzstan aims to provide energy-efficient insulation of the houses for low-income families by using low cost, local and natural materials. Home renovations also include the installation of new doors and windows, new heating systems, thermo insulation of walls, floors and ceilings.
- Disaster response and preparedness
Habitat Kyrgyzstan holds trainings on strengthening capacity of local communities to disaster response and preparedness. To date, 4,000 training participants have learnt how to build safe and affordable houses using local available construction materials. Habitat Kyrgyzstan also introduces affordable construction technique on reinforcing the existing houses against earthquakes.
Meet a Habitat family
Imankulov Jolboldu and his wife Tursunkiul live with their three children in Barskoon village in an old house built in the 1940s.
In 2014, Jolboldu started building a new house and Habitat Kyrgyzstan is helping him to build it. It is going to be an affordable and earthquake resistant house. Four GV teams from Europe and US helped Jolboldu’s family to complete the major construction job. “We feel very fortunate and truly blessed being a Habitat partner family and hosting international volunteers is helping us to complete our house,” says Jolboldu.
What you can do
You can help Kyrgyz families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Kyrgystan or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 815500, KYRGYZSTAN on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Kyrgyzstan or in other parts of the region, please contact us.
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Michal Kruzliak, Program Manager
Population: 5.8 million
Urbanization: 36 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 70 years
Unemployment rate: official 8.4%, unofficial up to 25%
Population living below poverty line: 37 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan
When the program started: 1999
Families served: More than 6,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 500
Housing Solutions: New houses, Completion of half-built houses, Renovations, condominium repairs, Access to sanitation in rural communities, Disaster response and preparedness, Home improvements for families with mental illness