Friday, October 19, 2012

Simple Wooden House for Ecotourism Program in Manokwari

I am in the process of designing a simple wooden house for my rainforest eco-tourism program in Manokwari. The program is aimed at creating alternative income generation scheme for indigenous Papuan so that they will not be tempted to sell their forested lands to logging companies. The program also targets hunters in Manokwari to support their livelihood so that they will not hunt endangered animals such as tree kangaroo and birds of paradise or other wild animals that are facing extinction. There are 4 hiking and birding destinations (i.e., Dopi river, Asai river, Warmarway village and Aiwatar hill) that I am promoting at the moment. Each destination needs at least 3 wooden houses (also called cottages). Two cottages will be used by tourists whereas one by the guides and porters. Instead of using Archicad to visualize the foundation, pillars, floors, windows and wall structures, I choose Google Sketchup 8 Pro. Today the CAD software has been under the management of Trimble. I plan to cover the cottage with thatched roofs. Sago palm leaves will be the base material.
Wooden cottage for tourists
Wooden Cottage
Tourists who stay in the house will have the opportunity to watch the birds of paradise in the morning. If they stay at a hotel in Manokwari, they will not be able to watch the birds. My first proposal of tourist house for Kwau village was approved by the Department of Forestry. It is being constructed this month and will be finished in November or December.
Wooden house for ecotourism
Guesthouse for tourists
In Indonesia, traditional wooden houses are made of wood. There are the ones that stand directly on the ground and there are the ones that are built on pillars some 1 to 3 meters above the ground. In the past, the space below the house is used for storing agricultural equipment.
The above photographs is the landscape of tropical rainforest in Dopi river. It is a tributary of Pami river that flows to Amban beach in the north of Manokwari. Since there are coral reefs in the region, visitors are not allowed to throw any plastic wastes into the water while walking through the river. This is to ensure that the coral reefs in the coastal areas are preserved.
Tourists who visit this river stay in a small camp that we built to serve them. Unfortunately, it is not always comfortable for many tourists who want to experience staying in the jungle for the first time. Only those who like adventure will feel ok with this camp. That's why I am now designing the above simple cottage to replace it.
The design of this simple cottage is different from the traditional wooden/ bark houses in Arfak mountains. However, wood is still used as the main construction material. I hope to finish the design of this wood house early next year. I still haven't got the fund to build them but I plan to raise funds both from the government and anybody who is interested in supporting the preservation of rainforest of New Guinea through eco-tourism program. by Charles Roring

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