Sustainable Housing for Rural Families in Africa

by Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)
Nov 25, 2010

7.5 kilometers (= 4.7 miles) of vaults built!

NV House 1
NV House 1

This autumn, we have had the resources, for the first time, to undertake a full and accurate analysis of the results of our program since its start in 2000. Here are some of the key points:

- if all the vaults built since 2000 in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal by masons trained by AVN were placed end-to-end, their total length would be 7.5 km , or 4.7 miles, equal to a total area of around 20,000 square meters (a standard NV vault has an internal width of 3.25 meters),

- in total, 176 masons have been trained, with a further 230 currently on apprenticeships,

- the program has directly benefited some 7,800 people (clients and their families, masons, apprentices, laborers...)

- 400,200 $ worth of local salaries have been generated by the program,

- 2,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent have been saved, as compared to the usual alternative construction methods,

- a new program has been successfully opened in Zambia, southern Africa.

Growth of the program has been very significant during the 2009/10 building season, especially in Burkina Faso and Mali, with 11 new Pilot Village Deployment Programs (PVDP) opened, each one centred around a cluster of villages, with a local 'champion' (a community leader, for example) spear-heading the promotion of NV houses, and bringing in a team of NV masons to train local apprentices and build the first houses. Amongst the photographs with this report are examples of typical two-vault village houses built as part of these DPVP's.To cope with the increased level of activity, the team at AVN's HQ in Boromo, Burkina Faso has been expanded to 8 people now (see photo).

The three-vault church in Petit-Balé, near Boromo, has now had a magnificent bell-tower added to it (see photo)

The AVN show house at this years Salon International de l'Artisanat (SIAO), held in the Burkina Faso capital of Ougadougou in the first week of November attracted some 4,000 visitors (see photo) and two teams of NV masons on our stand signed up future clients for NV houses.

And... we recently received images of the first NV house to cross the Atlantic! In the Spring of 2009, Stevan de la Rosa, a young Mexican, spent several months learning the NV technique in Boromo in 2009. I include a photo of the first NV building he has constructed with a team from a rural educational project in San Isidro, in the centre of Mexico. The building has two rooms, one for storing seed, the other for tools. More NV buildings are planned ...

So, that's a quick summary of the latest news. Many thanks again to all of you who are supporting our work - but there's still a long way to go before we can make a really significant impact on improving housing conditions for all the poor rural families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tony Kaye

NV House 2
NV House 2
NV House 3
NV House 3
NV House 4
NV House 4
NV House 5
NV House 5
Petit Balé church with bell tower
Petit Balé church with bell tower
A NV shop
A NV shop
AVN Show House at the SIAO
AVN Show House at the SIAO
The AVN team in Boromo
The AVN team in Boromo
AVN's office in Boromo
The first NV building in Mexico
The first NV building in Mexico

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Organization Information

Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)

Location: Ganges, N/A - France
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Tony Kaye
Milton Keynes, n/a United Kingdom
$13,730 raised of $50,000 goal
109 donations
$36,270 to go
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