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Disaster Recovery

We’re committed to providing and improving shelter for families that have been affected by natural disasters.

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Victims of disasters are often left overwhelmed by the scale of the clean-up involved in the wake of bushfires, floods and wild weather. Habitat for Humanity South Australia mobilises teams of volunteers, supervised by a Habitat staff member, to step in and provide much-needed practical support, and a lift in spirits, for the affected landowners.

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Case Study: Regrowing from the Ashes, 2020

At first sight the burnt remains of Tony’s ‘greenhouse’ looked more like an array of stalactites that you would find in a limestone cave. Shards of white plastic ‘dripped’ off the structure’s steel frame, the last remnants of a 500 square metres space housing a healthy crop of spinach when the Cudlee Creek bushfire arrived in December 2019.

Remarkably, a 17,000 square metre glasshouse, also on the site, survived with only a few panes of glass subsequently breaking on a day of high winds. Tony says if his major glasshouse had been destroyed, he may not have had the enthusiasm and energy to rebuild and keep producing vegetables that find their way to Adelaide’s Central Market.

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Instead, with the help of a Habitat of Humanity South Australia team of four volunteers and supervisor Craig, Tony is moving forward to restore his second greenhouse.


The task facing volunteers was very different to many of the other bushfire recovery tasks they had undertaken which largely included the removal of burnt fencing and dragging trees and vegetation into ‘burn piles’.

Much of the thick plastic covering of the greenhouse had burnt but a lot had melted over the steel frame and into gutters, and re-solidified. It was a laborious task to lever the plastic out of such spaces and from around the bolts and studs that held the structure together.


When the volunteers had removed as much of the plastic as they could, they moved on another task and dragged the remains of a downed tree and other destroyed vegetation into a pile.

Tony said he had been “blown away by the assistance we’ve been given, not least from the Habitat for Humanity South Australia team”.

“Having people from Habitat for Humanity come out and turn the first sod, so to speak, has inspired us and I can now see an end to it, and the job will get done. Before Habitat’s involvement, it looked insurmountable but you guys just got in there and paved the way, and now we’re mobile.”

“We’ve got nothing but gratitude,” Tony said.

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