Manohar Shendre (38) lives with his wife Pushpa (32) and three children Sanjeevani (13), Rajeshwari (10) and Tejas (8) in Alipur, located in Wardha district, Maharashtra. Manohar works as a daily labourer loading trucks, while Pushpa is an agricultural labourer and works on a nearby farm.

Every year, they relocate during monsoon to a safer space, leaving their leaking house of mud walls and a thatched roof behind. The area in which their house was built used to flood and almost every year they lost their belongings to damp and wet weather conditions. Constant shifting was also a strain on the family. “Even through all these circumstances, we never compromised on our children’s education,” says Manohar. “We didn’t even have a proper road to reach our village during monsoon, and we faced huge losses during this time.”

To add to the misery, Manohar’s family was one among many who were adversely impacted by the construction of the Lower Wardha Dam built on river Wardha. During the land acquisition process, Manohar was allotted a separate plot of land however the family did not have the means to build a new home.

Habitat for Humanity India helped 25 families like Manohar’s affected by this project and partnered with them to build a new home. The houses are built with porotherm clay bricks.

• The cost of construction is lower as opposed to the reinforced cement concrete (RCC) structure.
• Light weight: 60% less weight than conventional walling material.
• Strong and durable: High compressive strength. We can build G + 1 structures.
• Excellent Thermal and Sound Insulation
• Low water absorption of ~ 15%, thus minimal risk of dampness, cracks or shrinkage of walls.
• Non-susceptible to carbonation thus providing greater durability.
• Natural and green.

“When we look back at our previous life in a hut with limited facilities, we feel this house is a dream come true. We never thought we could construct such a beautiful house,” says Manohar.