Kyrgyzstan: helping people gear up for winter

12-01-2011 Feature

Before the first snow of the season fell on Osh and nearby areas, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) finished partially rebuilding 363 houses that were burnt or otherwise damaged during the events of June 2010. Three thousand people now have a roof over their heads, and two or three rooms, depending on the size of the family, in which they will be able to spend the coldest time of the year in decent conditions.

As building work did not begin until September, it was a challenge to complete it before the onset of winter. "In the beginning, people didn't believe that their houses could be rebuilt within such a short period of time," said Francesca Coloni, an ICRC civil engineer based in Osh. "But as soon as construction began in earnest, everybody – young and old, men and women – pitched in to help. It was very impressive."

Around 2,000 daily workers, most of whom came from the affected areas, participated in the effort. The wages they received helped them cover their basic needs and those of their families.

The ICRC donated large quantities of building materials required for the partial reconstruction of 363 houses in Furkat and in Cheremushki, in the Osh area. It also donated roofing kits for 130 houses in Pamirskaya and Tashlak, and for 250 houses in Bazar Korgon, Jalalabad oblast. In addition, through an ICRC cash-for-work programme, rubble, ash and debris from the destroyed and burnt houses were cleared in districts affected by the June events.

This shelter project was carried out in full coordination with the State Directorate for Reconstruction and Development, the authorities of Osh town and oblast and other humanitarian organizations. It was conducted in parallel with a reconstruction programme of the UNHCR.

The ICRC also distributed items such as blankets, hygiene kits, baby kits and mattresses, as well as cash for buying shoes, to needy people.


Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Beginning of construction with the participation of the local population. 

Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Beginning of construction with the participation of the local population.

Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Construction of a house completed 

Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Construction of a house completed.