ADB Helps Mongolians Keep Warm

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Video | 14 January 2013

ADB is funding insulating material to help poor Mongolians stay warm against the Siberian winter in their tent-like homes.

Transcript

Title: ADB Helps Mongolians Keep Warm

Description: ADB is funding insulating material to help poor Mongolians stay warm against the Siberian winter in their tent-like homes.

VO: Orphaned sisters Shijirtuya, Uchiralazaya and Aruiunzaya live in a slum area on the outskirts of the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

When they were barely toddlers, their father abandoned the family. Their mother, who was left alone to take care of them, was killed in an incident they do not want to speak about.

Today, the sisters live with their aunt’s family in a traditional Mongolian tent-like home, known as a “ger.”

Most Mongolian gers have a single layer of fabric: little protection against Siberian gales and temperatures that can plummet to -50 celsius in winter.

Like many Mongolians, the sisters had to endure the tough living conditions inside their aunt’s ger.

SOT: Shijirtuya
Orphan, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
During the day, we covered ourselves with blankets as we did our homework. We did not have enough protection inside the ger. It was extremely cold inside as it was outside. When we did not have enough water proof protection in our ger, rain seeped through the thin covering and we put basins everywhere to catch the rainfall. 

VO: Factory worker Choijjhorloo also remembers the time when her family struggled hard to keep warm. It was especially difficult for her as she also had to cope with her disability.

SOT: Choijjhorloo
Factory Worker, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
It’s not good for disabled people like me to catch a cold during the harsh weather. If we catch a cold, our body gets weak and we fall sick easily.

VO: Today the orphaned sisters no longer have to endure extreme cold inside their homes after they received super-insulated ger materials from a program funded by the Asian Development Bank’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

Choijjhorloo borrowed money to buy the materials after she managed to access a low interest loan from a local bank – this microloan is also part of the project.

ADB started the endeavor in 2010, targeting around 4,000 households in some of the poorest districts in Ulaanbaatar.

The ger materials are made of synthetic fabric and improved wool – materials that are highly effective in insulating homes.

The insulation provided by the materials has brought warmth, allowing families to cook, study and socialize in comfort, despite the extreme temperatures.

This also means that Mongolians burn less coal to keep warm, limiting harmful emissions that contribute to climate change as well as haze and health problems.