9/14/11 (AEIN) The United Nations announced late Tuesday that it had issued awards to six individuals and organizations for progress in the development of housing and environmentally friendly construction. Recipients included entities in Russia, Cuba, the U.S., Australia and Malaysia which have carried out a range of inspiring projects.
Malaysia's National Security Council received an award for setting up a six mile (9.7 km) dual-purpose tunnel in Kuala Lumpur. Typically it acts as a road tunnel for automobile traffic. However, authorities close the tunnel during rain storms and it diverts rainwater to prevent flash flooding, according to the U.N.
The research and development institute CIDEM, which is operated by a university in Cuba, obtained an award for promoting inexpensive environment-friendly construction. The institute holds community workshops in Cuba and other parts of the world that teach people how to create building materials at little cost.
The city government of Yakutsk, Russia also received an award. Yakutsk has retrofitted many buildings to conserve energy. It also improved the drainage system, roads and landscaping. During the past two years, the city has established five thousand new apartments as well. Yakutsk is a major city and a regional capitol located in eastern Russia.
Edith Mbanga of Namibia and the Australian non-profit Wintringham received awards for assisting the poor to obtain housing. Ms. Mbanga helped thousands of Namibians to afford homes and land during the past twenty years. Wintringham houses one-thousand elderly homeless people in Melbourne and advocates for the government to help the homeless.
The U.N. awarded Austin Energy Green Building in the U.S. state of Texas as well. Established about twenty years ago, the organization works to promote sustainable construction and energy efficiency. The municipality of Chiang Rai, Thailand and organizations in Mexico City and Burkina Faso received "good practices" commendations.