Alleviating Maternal Sufferings in Rural Areas Through Built Environment | Ailiya Zehra

Project Idea

Pakistan is currently facing high maternal and infant mortality rate. This is due to the fact that there are certain physical and non-physical barriers that make it difficult for women, in rural areas of Pakistan, to access medical facilities. The idea behind this project is to design a space that can help improve maternal health in rural areas such as Tharparkar, Pakistan.

Eduwik Architecture Excellence Awards 2022 (Students)
First Award | Healthcare / Wellness

Project Name: Alleviating Maternal Sufferings in Rural Areas Through Built Environment
Project Category: Healthcare / Wellness

Studio Name: Ailiya Zehra
Design Team: –
Area: Pakistan
Year: 2022
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Consultants: –
Photography Credits: –
Other Credits: Ar. Wajiha Mehdi and Ar. Samir Sadruddin

Alleviating Maternal Sufferings in Rural Areas Through Built Environment | Ailiya Zehra - Sheet3
©Ailiya Zehra

A Thari woman is not just responsible for household chores, she is also supposed to look after the livestock, collect woods and most important of all, she is responsible for fetching water daily from a distant source. Fetching water in Tharparkar means walking kilometers under the scorching sun on slippery sand or rough and rocky pathways with barely any tree to provide shade or retreat on the way to water source. Despite being a strenuous task, water collection also serves as an opportunity for the women of Tharparkar to come out of their houses to gather, connect and bond. This daily task becomes a mode of socialization for these women when they walk together for miles with their children and livestock. They communicate about their problems and discuss their lives and listen to each other which is quite impossible indoors because of the cultural conditioning of most of the rural regions that keeps women from vocalizing their struggles or thoughts. In simpler words, the duty of fetching water becomes a uniting force for the women of Tharparkar.

Alleviating Maternal Sufferings in Rural Areas Through Built Environment | Ailiya Zehra - Sheet4
©Ailiya Zehra

Keeping this in mind, the facility is strategically designed on an existing route which is followed by the women to get to the lake and visit temple.

The programs comprise of two main categories, Functional programs (well equipped) and social programs

Design concept revolves around three main aspects

  1. Water- the source of life
  2. Care- strengthening bondage of community
  3. Agriculture- creating sense of belonging
Alleviating Maternal Sufferings in Rural Areas Through Built Environment | Ailiya Zehra - Sheet5
©Ailiya Zehra

Technical Information

Materials used in the project are vernacular as local and easily available materials would result in a humble design which would maintain familiarity with the surroundings while providing a comfortable environment for women.

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