The Power of Domes
Dome Community Centers
If we learned nothing else from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2021, we learned that the communities Overture serves in southern Haiti have to be better prepared for the NEXT earthquake, hurricane, flooding or other disaster. And realistically, the next disaster could be tomorrow. It’s not IF but WHEN!
We plan for these natural disasters by building storm-resistant dome structures to serve multiple communities in southern Haiti. These domes provide critical, safe, multi-purpose spaces. They also act as a hub from which to deepen the impact of the Overture Social Support Model which other organizations and governments can affordably replicate in other developing regions.
Why Are Domes so Effective?
Disaster proof: the shape and composition provide resistance to high winds exceeding category 5 hurricanes (156 mph or more), will withstand earthquakes, and cannot be burned
Environmentally friendly and comfortable: because of the concrete thermal mass, the Dome interior temperature remains stable
Cost effective: using 50% less materials than traditional homes
Sanitary: no potential for insect infestation, mold or deterioration from rotting
Simple and fast to build: can be completed in as little as four weeks
Locally sourced (supplies and workers): the raw materials needed are available in Haiti
Our Goals for Domes
These domes will play a critical role in implementing the Overture Social Support Model in these communities, focusing on the five pillars – nutrition, housing, empowerment, education and healthcare. There are three primary reasons for investing in expanding domes into the communities we serve:
FOOD SECURITY: Placing disaster-resistant domes in these communities will enable them to have a degree of food security that doesn’t exist today. WHEN the next disaster strikes, relief organizations, such as Overture will have safe, secure facilities in which to store emergency relief food and supplies. And, because our current depot on the ESPWA campus serves as our main food hub for distribution in this region, having additional domes will enable Overture to more efficiently and effectively disburse food in the region. And as Nutrition is one pillar of our Social Support Model, the infrastructure to ensure food supplies are available and accessible during crises is critical.
EMERGENCY SHELTER: After the 2021 7.2 earthquake, hundreds of families rushed to our domes on the ESPWA campus for safe shelter. ESPWA, because of the domes, has become the go-to location for emergency shelter for six of the surrounding communities. Because of this, the community members are beginning to accept domes as reliable, safe structures. This is the beginning of a cultural shift in how they think about housing and other structures. Expanding the number and locations of the dome will enable us to increase the number of community members we can accommodate during future disasters. Housing, another of our Social Support Model pillars, is another critical resource for fostering independence in southern Haiti.
SOCIAL & ECONOMIC BENEFITS: Domes that can serve as a central community center, will open the door for Overture to do more effective, impactful social Empowerment work in these communities. The domes can also be used for church gatherings or other social events. The more empowered and connected these communities become, the more likely they are to help their neighbors during disasters and in daily life, creating a more independent and self-sustaining population. The domes also provide a location for jobs training to equip community members with valuable skills they can leverage to earn an income for themselves and their families. Furthermore, every new structure that we build, leads to a working community which, by nature, strengthens the local economy.