Since December last year Peru has been affected by adverse weather blamed on the El Niño effect. There has been very heavy rainfall, floods, landslides, hail and storms. The worst affected areas are in the northern coastal regions but there are reports of damage in all 24 of the country’s administrative departments. As of 21 April reports indicate some 1.2 million people have been affected.
The reconstruction of homes, a priority in the north of the country, can be speeded up if locally available timber from the Peruvian Amazon is used said Erik Fischer, Chairman of the Committee of Wood and Wood Industry of the Association of Exporters (ADEX).
He pointed out that in the US, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries wood is the predominant material in housing construction. This, he said, should encourage the government to place a priority on the construction of wooden homes as this will boost the local production of wood products and offer a quick solution in the disaster hit areas.
Looking at the broader perspective, Fischer was of the view that the country needs a housing policy that emphasises the use of domestically available resources such as timber.
He added that timber frame homes can be built more cheaply than the traditional cement block or concrete buildings.