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May 2024 :  UNICEF partner Nepal RSK response team at Mahottari fire
to  provide double RSK shelters for use as Child Friendly Centres (CFCs)

Double RSK built for use as a CFC

Mahottari fire 2024


UNICEF using the double RSK for a teaching space

Mahottari fire 2024

 Award -Winning RSK shelters were also built by the response team
for 194 people displaced by Jajarkot earthquake in Nov 2023 and Jan 2024

Standard RSK with the front awning open during the day is here providing a useful covered cooking area.

Nalgad December 2023 

When the team arrived in these remote rural communities 
many families were still living in very poorly built shelters 

Nalgad December 2023 


Nalgad December 2023 

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Kushe  January 2024 

The main problem is building the roof of their shelter.

After working with the trained RSK team
these families were empowered to build their own RSK  shelters. 

Community members take part in demonstrating that when 4 bamboo poles are overlapped in turn they make a reciprocal frame. As seen here, this frame is "self- supporting" without lashings.

The 4 poles of the reciprocal frame are then lashed together on the ground.


Lashing the reciprocal frame on top of 4 side poles to complete the shelter roof frame

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Carrying the complete 8 pole roof frame to the family shelter site. 

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This shelter is being located next to the recipients' collapsed house.


The roof frame is then positioned on its four corner support posts

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Positioning the first of the side tarpaulins.


Digging the holes for the support posts.

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After lashing the roof to the support posts the RSK shelter frame is complete.


Attaching the second side tarpaulin to the shelter frame.


Attaching the roof tarpaulin.

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The front awning  can be open during the day


Inside the Standard RSK shelter sleeping area

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Or fully  closed at night

     Special features of the RSK used by the families:
     1. Building the roof frame on the ground 

This unique feature empowers all the family, young and old, to assist in building the roof. It is much easier than having to build the roof overhead.

Special feature of the RSK used by the families: 
2.  One tool to make the kit and one simple skill to assemble it.

Only a saw or machete are required to make an RSK shelter.

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All the family can use simple cross lashing skills to assemble their shelter

                     Special feature of the RSK used by the families: 
                     3. Using only complete bamboo poles, no split bamboo.

Using a simple baton to align the roof frame. The result is a stronger and safer load-bearing structure with a reduced fire risk

Special feature of the RSK used by the families : 
4.  A new concept roof that uses  "traditional" build methods to support it.
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The RSK frame assembly uses traditional methods that will be familiar to the community.

     Special feature of the RSK used by the families : 
     5. The RSK roof has 4 simple but strong attachment points for the top  tarpaulin.
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The tarpaulin is "bunched" and secured around the 4 corners of the RSK roof frame.

The tarpaulin is then further attached to the frame using traditional methods.

Special feature of the RSK used by the families:
6. The team built multiple roof frames and stacked them on the ground.

Families could collect their roof frame and carry it to their build site .

This mass production of roof frames has important implications for large scale disasters.

In Nalgad the team cut the green bamboo
that they needed every morning
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Mature but green bamboo is not as durable as dry bamboo but may be  used   where there is no other option, as in this emergency shelter situation.


We shall monitor any degradation over the coming months. Individual poles in the RSK roof frame can be replaced without having to disassemble the whole roof.


No bamboo is wasted. Even bent bamboo can be made use of.

In Kushe dried bamboo was brought in by truck.
RSK shelters use 33% less bamboo than any equivalent shelters resulting in considerable savings in transportation costs.
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Transferring bamboo from the team truck to the community tractor.

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The RSK roof uses only two different lengths of bamboo making it a highly  efficient use of bamboo.

Versatility of RSK shelters
The bamboo poles are interchangeable between all 4 types of RSK shelter






All RSKs use the same roof frame. The team could have built any of these shelters on arrival in Jajarkot had they been required.


This smaller version of the free-standing Urban RSK was built by the team to sleep in whilst in Kushe.  

Versatility of RSK shelters
In Kushe the Standard RSK shelters were adapted to the cold and exposed location
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This RSK shelter was built with a slightly smaller frame, lower roof height and a greater roof incline.

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If the community had been above the snow line we would have further increased the incline of the load-bearing roof.

Versatility of RSK shelters
The kits are easily carried and adaptable to different situations
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A family carried their complete RSK roof frame to this final site.

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This ability to remain close to their dwelling or land is  important to families.

Versatility of RSK shelters
Simple to repair, maintain and upgrade
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This family has built a more substantial covered  area on the front of their shelter.


Maintaining the RSK is straightforward and this empowers recipients to work on their personal shelter.

Final checks, answering questions and giving advice
before the RSK team depart
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An opportunity to ensure community links are in place.

                                          LATEST DEVELOPMENT
Just before this Jajarkot deployment, on 25th November 2023 we tested the latest RSK shelter design in training in Sarlahi, Nepal
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This Urban RSK modification is particularly designed for earthquake victims and is free-standing on asphalt and concrete. It's strength, stability and living space exceeded our expectations and we are now looking forward to further field testing.

                        Sphere Standards
The RSK shelter aims to meet Sphere humanitarian standards in design, planning and emergency response 
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