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  • What we do

    According to UN-HABITAT 3 billion people lack decent housing. We need to build 35 million new affordable homes each year. Uganda alone needs 1.6 million new houses and is currently building some 100,000 each year. Building these houses will require bricks by the billion.

    Currently, traditional building methods utilise burnt or fired bricks, which consumes large amount of firewood leading to deforestation, while also devastating wetland areas where clay is harvested for the bricks.

    Compared with traditional fired bricks, building with Interlocking Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks lowers the cost of construction and so improves access to housing. It has significant environmental benefits.

    The blocks do not need to be fired, so saving wood, and the interlocking feature greatly reduces the amount of cement needed in construction, so saving cost and CO2: large amounts of CO2 are emitted in cement manufacture.

    Finally, as it uses local technology, it supports local business and employment. The technology has been developed over many years. However, despite the benefits it offers, it has not yet been adopted at scale. This is partly because of lack of awareness of the benefits of the technology, partly because it is not formally recognised by official and professional agencies and partly because of lack of access to the equipment and training needed.

    Our aim is to promote the adoption of the technology at a large scale, in effect transforming the market so that people will opt for this technology rather than fired bricks.

    To do this we take a multi-pronged approach through awareness raising, advocacy, technical and business training, capacity building, research & development of the technologies, and the provision of information and guidance. In our advocacy work we target the government to ensure they are aware of the technology and include it in building codes, technical specifications, and policy. We also advocate to Agencies, NGOs, and the private sector to adopt these technologies in the projects and work they do. In selected areas, we engage directly with local communities to implement practical projects to understand what is needed to promote the adoption of the technology at community levels.

    At present, we are doing this through our own programmes in Uganda and in Tanzania / Kenya and work with partners active in other parts of Africa.