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This was the first RSK shelter erected by our volunteer trainees in August 2021.

It was erected on a municipal site to provide temporary shelter for carrying out  numerous daily functions.

The tiled floor site was challenging to build on and very exposed to the inclement weather.

After one year it has far exceeded our expectations for its future purpose as an emergency shelter kit.

RSK 1 year later.jpg

The original 4 pole reciprocal frame ( poles 1,2,3 and 4)  that was built can clearly be made out.

Two of the additional split bamboo strips A and B have been placed to assist water run off .

Cables and ropes for hanging items from the reciprocal frame are also visible in this photo.

This was the first shelter built by volunteers who had no previous experience of lashing a bamboo frame together. Understandably some mistakes were made in assembling their first kit, particularly to the outer frame and support posts. However, the lashing together of the 4 bamboo pole reciprocal frame was in fact very good. By carefully completing this important step the team has ensured the structural strength of the shelter for a full year. It is understood that the shelter was built in a location that was very exposed to strong winds and heavy rainfall.

It was noted at the time of assembly that the top ends of the 4 central reciprocal frame poles had not been padded to protect the overlying tarpaulin. I would therefore have expected the sharp ends of these poles to rapidly cut through the overlying tarpaulin but this did not happen. There are some small holes in the tarpaulin but not at these expected friction wear points. Although this is an unexpected bonus in this case, we shall still continue to advocate applying simple padding at these expected wear points.

The shelter performed  exceptionally well for its intended municipal purpose. The addition of a few lengths of split bamboo ( see photos) to lie across the top of the reciprocal frame and prevent water puddling is something we have seen before. It should not be necessary if the tarpaulin is anchored securely around its perimeter. However it does indicate how easy it is for recipients to add to their frame. Hanging mosquito nets and fabric partitions from the load bearing reciprocal frame is straightforward.


August 2021. Volunteers build the RSK shelter for the first time.


The first RSK structure built by these trainees.  The recipients requested that the shelter was left open with only a back wall for security reasons. The participants practised various methods of attaching the tarpaulin to the frame that clearly worked well for a whole year.

This was very positive. After using the shelter for a year the recipients were very keen to follow up with us and explore further uses for the highly verstile RSK shelter.

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