In 2001 Gujarat India suffered a devastating earthquake that levelled many existing health clinics and childcare facilities primarily in the Kutch District. Tens of thousands of children and adults were left without proper medical and child care. Following the earthquake, Save the Children Canada and Save the Children UK elected to rebuild 155 destroyed ‘Anganwaddies’, or Child Development Centres (CDCs) in 80 villages across rural Kutch District. Each centre consisted of a 450 ft2 public building where mothers could take their children for nutritional and health education, a daily meal, and food supplies. Beyond CDCs, construction included an additional 16 health centers made up of dispensaries and medical clinics for children and families.
BWB partnered with Save the Children over a period of 18 months and provided three engineers (Pictured: Bob Fiddes) to prepare a redevelopment strategy for 145 CDCs (top) and the 16 primary and secondary health centers (below.) BWB worked with each village, assessing the damaged CDCs and health centers and proposed new and more appropriate sites, respecting the local cultural, cast, and engineering conditions. The BWB team recruited local architects to prepare designs, as well as local contractors, and supervised the tendering, design, and construction of the buildings.
As a result of BWB’s involvement, the CDCs and health centers now meet international health standards and are better able to withstand future seismic and cataclysmic events. The local government heralds the buildings as models for others to follow. Today the CDCs and health centers are serving two hundred thousand families while improving the health and nutrition of children and families (Pictured: Left and below.)