Yurts could be the answer for homeless Pakistani earthquake victims

Opinion

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Archimedes shouted: "Eureka!" after discovering a way to determine purity of gold.

My Eureka moment came during the Channel 11 News Hour's update of the Kashmiri earthquake Oct 8.

The Pakistani government gave families cash allowances for shelter. Ken Bacon, president of Refugee International, said, "The mountain people, 200,000 in 15,000 communities, need housing for the arriving winter. Corrugated sheets or clay brick walls will not be adequate."

In my mail the next morning was a catalog from the Colorado Yurt Co. (800/288-3190). Yurts are circular tents originated by nomads of Mongolia, using a framework of poles, covered by felt or skins. The catalog states: "For centuries the yurt was home to herdsmen of grassland steppes of Central Asia. Its circular design and spacious interior has a handcrafted wooden frame, with a covering of industrial fabric insulated with Astrofoil. The structure is strong, beautiful and fully engineered. It has a stovepipe outlet for wood or gas stoves. The insulated roof is vinyl coated polyester with a 15-year warranty. The doors are Douglas fir; the windows clear acrylic."

The smallest yurt is 16 feet in diameter for $4,780. The mid-size is 24 feet diameter, 11 feet tall at center, for $6,890. The largest size is 30 feet in diameter, 13 feet tall at the center, and costs $8,640.

For Katrina's victims, FEMA provided thousands of trailers.

Could yurts be the answer for the homeless Kashmiri and Pakistani mountain people?

Sylvia Bumiller
Oak Park

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