Living conditions in post-tsunami houses: A case study of the moklen ethnic minority group in Tungwa village, Phang Nga province, Southern Thailand

Publication Date : 2016-10-01
Author : Attavanich, M.Kobayashi, H.
Countries : Thailand
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Tsunami
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 caused widespread damage to Southern Thailand. The Moklen, an ethnic minority group of Sea Gypsies living in the area, were also affected and provided with rebuilt houses. Field surveys were conducted in Tungwa village, Phang Nga Province as a case study of post-tsunami housing of the Moklen people. Ten years after the tsunami, the residents are experiencing some difficulties with living conditions. Research has revealed that the rebuilding process changed the house types from single-storey in the pre-tsunami period, to houses with high stilts post-tsunami. In general, the rebuilt houses are capable of supporting the residents' basic living requirements; however, some of them experience difficulty in creating additional space on the ground floor owing to the lower ceiling height and low quality control of construction, despite the houses being designed with optional space on the ground floor. The study also found that three aspects affect living conditions: village layout, housing space, and building materials. The village layout in rows of houses limits air ventilation as they block each other's wind flow, and limited space causes difficulties for livestock. The living space on the higher stilt level is inconvenient for some villagers, especially the elderly, who are accustomed to the pre-tsunami living environment, and some households are living only in the additional space created on the ground level. In addition, some building materials have been damaged by termites and rain, making it dangerous to live on the stilt floor.