Aug 12, 2019

The Nubian Vault latest news #August

Climate cooperation, job creation, and adapted housing

Following the commitments made by the international community at COP21, the Government of Québec, through its Programme de coopération climatique internationale (PCCI), has decided to invest in projects which have positive climate impacts adapted to local contexts.

The project « Build differently with the Nubiuan Vault » supported by Unisféra and the Nubian Vault Association (AVN) since 2017 in Burkina Faso is a relevant and innovatory example. The objectives of this project by 2020 are to build over 900 Nubian Vaults (NV), including over 50 community buildings as well as individual houses, benefitting over 5,000 people, resulting in savings of nearly 20,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, and the training and employability of 600 NV apprentices and masons.

Beyond the numbers, this project is characterised by AVN’s innovatory implementation approach, in which the local beneficiary populations play a central rôle in deploying a dynamic construction market.

AVN’s experience – almost 20 years of reflection and work in the field - has led to the evolution of its strategy through the increasing mobilisation of lcal development actors (farmers’ organisations, womens’ cooperatives, community organisations etc.). Trained and supported by AVN, these «operational partners» deploy the programme themselves (through awareness raising, training, monitoring etc.) in their own action zones, thus acelerating the mergence and growth of a market for adapted housing in their territories.

This transition toward working through established local partners fits well with the many criteria used by the PCCI in chosing its projects – reinforcement of local capacities, transfer, adaptation and implementation of clean and proven technologies, emergence of market ecosystems – and multiplies the programme’s impacts through the network of local partners.

These impacts concern as much the issues of adaptation – increased resiliance of populations faced with the realities of climate change because of the thermal comfort and durability of NV buildings - – as of attenuation – this « adapted housing » sector is based largely on ancestral techniques and locally sourced materials with a low carbon footprint, allowing for significant domestic energy savings.

More widely, this project meets other essential needs in improving the living conditions of the populations of the Sahel: the employability of young men in rural areas crated through professional training and the increasing demands of the NV market, the strengthening of local economies (local materials and labour, reduced need for imported construction materials), and access to decent housing and basic services (health, education, agriculture etc.) for as many people as possible.

The Government of Québec’s support alllows for : the implementation of a methodology based on the adaptation of an ancient construction technique, deployed by its beneficiaries and meeting a key and often ignored need: decent housing for as many of the people of the Sahel as possible.

This cooperation model for an adapted construction sector, implemented through networks of sponsors, local and international development actors of the green economy, and African decision makers, is unique.


Project focus - 50 NV houses in N’Golobougou (Mali)

This season the Dubaï Charity Association (DCA) financed the construction of 50 NV houses, each of 26m2, in the village of N’Golobougou, Mali.

These building sites together involved the training and employability of many local masons. The 50 beneficiary families are now enjoying the comfort of Nubian Vault houses: thermal (cool interiors), acoustic (attenuation of outside noise), and daily use (solid weatherproof houses with roof terraces).

The completion of a project this size is a great asset for AVN’s programme because it permits a rapid diffusion of the NV concept in the target zones, resulting in multiple impacts: employability of youngsters, strengthening of local economies, improvement of families’ living conditions, visible examples of the NV concept...

AVN is delighted to be able to benefit from this continuing partnership with DCA, which has already lasted for several seasons.

See also also the film: Diakré, the first Nubian Vault village

May 13, 2019

The Nubian Vault latest news #May

Living in a Nubian Vault: Testimony of a Burkinabe Client

Last year, Mr. Bonkoungou was the first person in his village to build a Nubian Vault house. Full of pride, he talks about the advantages of a NV house compared to other common types of building in the region.

« Since 2011, I have had to rebuild my tin-roofed house five times, before deciding to opt for a NV building. I got the building materials together, lodged and fed the NV masons, and helped to make the bricks. There's a big difference between the NV buildings and those with tin roofs, whether in cost, comfort, or resistance to bad weather and storms. Recently, it has been impossible to rest or sleep in tin-roofed buildings because they are too hot inside.

Living in a vaulted NV house is much more conmfortable, because it's relatively cool indoors. Before, when I returned from my fields under the scorching sun, I couldn't go indoors to rest because the house was too hot. Now, the only place I want to be when it's really hot is inside my NV house. I spend a good time there with my family. When people talk about bad weather linked to climate change, I feel OK because I have a good house in which my family and I are protected from danger. I think I can say that I am the only person in the village to own a decent house. Many other people here and in neighbouring villages come to visit my house and want the same one, even those who have houses with concrete block walls.

Next season, with the help of my children, my plan is to have my entire concession built with the Nubian Vault technique. I must congratulate AVN's initiative because, thanks to them, my family and I are housed in an adapted and secure building »


Feb 12, 2019

The Nubian Vault latest news #February

The Polish Government sponsors a project for adapted housing in  Burkina Faso

The Polish Government, through its intermediary the Polish Centre for International Aid (PCPM) has agreed to finance a major NV construction project this season in the north of Burkina Faso. This will involve the building, in 15 communes, of 60 NV houses (each 25m2) for vulnerable families. A professional training programme for 30 artisan-masons and 120 apprentices is also planned.

This project, planned between September and December 2018, is being implemented by AVN and 15 Naam Unions working in the targeted communes (grouped together in the Fédération Nationale des Groupements Naam).

The role of the Namm Unions is to:

  • Select the beneficiaries and validate the implementation sites,
  • Identify the local candidates for training in the NV technique,
  • Take part in the organisation of training activities implemented by AVN’s Training Team,
  • Monitor the correct construction of the houses and provide feedback to AVN on any problems encountered,
  • Raise awareness amongst institutional and civil society actors concerning the local diffusion of the NV market concept.

In parallel, AVN is committed to:

  • Strengthening the capacities of the Naam Unions,
  • Validating the choice of beneficiaries and the monitoring of the building sites,
  • Mobilising the NV artisan-masons and their apprentices,
  • Implementing the relevant NV training modules,
  • Raising awareness amongst institutional and civil society actors concerning the local diffusion of the NV market concept.

As well as providing better living conditions for the beneficiaries, this project, with its training and local mobilisation components and the exemplarity of the completed buildings, is an inherent element of the diffusion of the NV concept in the Northern Region of Burkina Faso.


















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