[Islahiye, Gaziantep Province] More than one million Turks have lost their homes and are currently living in tents and container shelters following the massive earthquake and aftershocks which struck southern Turkey three weeks ago, killing at least 44,000 people in the country.
Since then, the Turkish government has been scrambling to find semi-permanent homes for the earthquake victims until new homes can be constructed.
Murat Kurum, Turkey’s minister for the environment, urbanization and climate change, tweeted that excavations are taking place in the towns of Nurdagi and Islahiye in Gaziantep Province, where the government plans to build an initial 855 homes.
Turkish authorities say some 173,000 buildings, containing around 534,000 apartments or other units, either collapsed or were severely damaged in the February 6 quake and the other strong tremors linked to it.
Beginning construction of small units in Turkey
Rebuilding everything may take years, so officials in Ankara have begun to construct small units with amenities, that are meant to house people for a few years.
The Turkish government and international aid groups have provided thousands of tents and container homes, but the people made homeless by the earthquake will require adequate shelter in the coming months as the government rebuilds following the devastating destruction of the earthquake.
These semi-permanent homes are about 23 square meters in size, containing two small bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and living room. One project in Islahiye, on the outskirts of Gaziantep, will contain 270 units, and will be home for the next three years to about 1,650 people. The small community will have electricity, water, and a sewer system.