In July of 2014 we completed our 40th straw bale house!  This was also the 5th house we built with SCIPPER (Spinal Cord Injury Project for Pakistan Earthquake Rehabilitation), which cares for women and children paralyzed in the 2005 Kashmir Earthquake. Rubina Saleem was paralyzed in that quake, and after multiple hospital stays, she lived with her three children in one room in a slum without basic facilities. Rubina’s new wheelchair accessible house has restored her mobility and greatly improved her family’s dignity and quality of life.

The land was donated by Mrs. Baig. Zeba, Ali and Haider Vanek donated the funds to build her house.

Rubina Saleem lot before building
Rubina Saleem lot before building – it was used for local community trash disposal!
Saleem house construction
The straw bale walls are raised and the site-built roof trusses, purlins, and blocking are installed.


Saleem house construction
PAKSBAB Natural Builder Sarfraz preps for plaster above the doors. Straw-clay insulation is installed in the ceiling.


Saleem house - earthen plaster is applied
The base coat of earthen plaster is applied and the fishing net reinforcement is stretched up the wall and secured.


Saleem house lime plaster is applied
The second coat of earthen-lime plaster and final coat of lime plaster is applied and finished with limewash.


Saleem house final touches doors and gate
The final touches: the house doors are installed, the boundary wall is repaired and the gate is installed.


Saleem house finished
Rubina’s son stands outside their completed house – what a difference it will make in their lives!


Rubina Saleem visits with Surkab Kahn
PAKSBAB COO Surkhab Khan visited Rubina Saleem at her straw bale home in early January of 2016. She expressed gratitude and relief, knowing that her family lives in an earthquake-safe house.


Rubina Saleem’s House in Rawalpindi – 2014