Sustainable Housing for Rural Communities in Mali

by Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)
Annual Report
Annual Report

Our Annual Report for the 2015-2016 season is now available in English, and can be downloaded from the AVN website, here.

Concerning our programme in Mali, the main points summarised in the report are as follows:
- 17 local employees in the AVN-Mali team
- 1 national office, and 5 regional office
- a 26% increase in results (numbers of vaults built and apprentices trained) during the season, with 63 active pilot villages
- 73 new construction sites, bringing the number of sites with at least one NV building up to 295
- expansion to a new region of deployment (Banamba)
- 1,109 new end-user beneficiaries
- 3,357 tons of CO2 potentially economised.

A major project completed during the season is an agricultural production unit for misola flour, in Niéna, for the Franco-Malian NGO Teriya Amitié Mali. The building is made up of 9 vaults, with a floor area of 140 m2. Its construction also permitted the training, on-site, of 11 new NV apprentices.

Read more by downloading our Annual Report...

 

 

AVN offices in Mali
AVN offices in Mali
AVN-Mali team
AVN-Mali team
Agricultural production unit, Niena
Agricultural production unit, Niena

Links:

AVN-Mali staff at LAC Inauguration, Bamako
AVN-Mali staff at LAC Inauguration, Bamako

There is not much new to report from our programme in Mali since my last update three months ago - our programme can't operate in the field during the summer (June, July, August), when intermittent and often heavy rains are incompatible with mud brick construction. And many NV masons are also subsistence farmers, busy with agricultural work during these months.

Inauguration of the Laboratoire d’Agri-Culture (LAC) of Bamako

In June, local AVN staff took part in the inauguration of this urban initiative in sustainable 'green' construction, biodiversity protection, agricultural experimentation, and local arts and crafts. The site includes several vaulted buildings constructed by NV masons.

AVN on the international scene

If the summer rains prevented construction in Mali, our AVN-International representatives have been very busy promoting our programme, networking, and fund-raising. Events to which AVN have been invited recently include:
- the Terra 2016 International conference on Earthern Architecture in Lyon, France, July 11-14, where AVN CEO Thomas Granier and colleagues presented  a paper on the challenges of using locally sourced construction materials in the context of AVN's large-scale programme for development of a market in earthern architecture in the Sahel
- the SXSW Eco Conference, Austin, Texas, Oct 10-12, at whch AVN was a finalist in the 'Place by Design' competition, in the category 'Resilience & Health'
- the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador, Oct 17-20, at which AVN jointly ran a Networking Event, together with the Ghana Affordable Housing Network and other partners, on "Better building in Africa"
- the 22nd Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov 7 - 18 which at  AVN had a booth and also took part in many side-events.

Remember that it is in some measure due to your support that, over the last 10 years and more, AVN has come to be recognised as a major player for its programme of promoting and growing a market for sustainable, eco-friendly, affordable construction in West Africa. Please continue to help, and to tell your friends, family, and colleagues about our work, to complement the networking and on the international stage by our (very small and over-worked) AVN-International team based in in France.

The LAC site, Bamako
The LAC site, Bamako
COP22 logo
COP22 logo
Habitat III
Habitat III
Terra 2016
Terra 2016
Eco SXSW
Eco SXSW

Links:

A NV mason in his own NV house, Kati
A NV mason in his own NV house, Kati

The last season has been a particularly successful one for AVN-Mali.

Growth of production and training

Compared to our other countries of action, the Malian NV market is the one which has grown the most this season:

- the number of construction sites increased by 28%, to a total of 436 in 226 different localities

- the Kickstart method in rural areas is particularly efficient and well-adapted to the Malian context; 98% of the season’s NV clients are rural farmers, AVN’s core target; in total, over 7,000 people in Mali have benefitted from the AVN Programme

- the number of trained masons grew by 26% to a total of 223, and the increasing commitment of traditional masons (those who build with earth/metal roofing sheets and/or cement/metal roofing sheets) means we can expect this remarkable growth to continue.

A regional deployment suported by numerous partners

The opening of the San region, chosen in collaboration with the Ségou AOPP (farmers' organisation), means that AVN is now present in four regions in Mali.

Hiring someone responsible for institutional advocacy (a French employee based in Bamako) in mid-season led to the implementation and strengthening of unequivocal advances in raising awareness vis-à-vis national institutional actors.

During this season, a plan to expand to three Cercles in the Kayes and Koulikoro regions was approved as part of the Natural Resources and Climate Change Management Project (PGRNCC), under the aegis of the Agency for Environment and Sustainable Development (AEDD) and funded by the World Bank. It is noteworthy that this is the first time in Mali that a project has been led by a national institutional actor.

This season the four-year project focused on preparing activities, in particular the expansion to the Banamba region and the hiring of a local team.

The support from the Malian Minister of Economy and Finances vis-à-vis the Islamic Development Bank (IDB)has led to funding being granted, which will be allocated next season to strengthening professional training in the Cercle of Koutiala as part of a multi-partner approach (inter-communities, companies, etc.).

The attached photos are just a few examples of the wide range of buildings constructed by NV masons in Mali.



A typical single-vault village house
A typical single-vault village house
An onion-drying barn
An onion-drying barn
Health centre, N
Health centre, N'golofola
Orphanage, Gao
Orphanage, Gao
Cultural centre, Segou
Cultural centre, Segou
Aerial view, ZAE Konseguela
Aerial view, ZAE Konseguela

NV masons build an electrified artisanal complex for 15 local enterprises

One of the most significant recent major achievements of NV builders in Mali is this Zone Artisanale Electrifiée (ZAE), a collaboration between AVN and GERES, an organisation specialising in renewable energy, and the local association AMADER, designed with the help of AVN's consultant architect, Mathieu Hardy. It combines the NV low-carbon construction technique with renewable and non-polluting sources of off-grid energy (notably from generators fuelled by locally cropped vegetable oils), which can be used by local artisans to generate income and promote local economic development.

The zone is in the region of  Koutiala (commune of Konséguéla), and consists of buildings made up of 14 Nubian Vaults, all using renewable energy from  solar panels and a generator powered by local vegetable oils. AVN-Mali was closely involved in the design and organisation of the construction site, using a local builder.

This set of buildings will eventually house 15 small-scale local enterprises serving the needs of the local community  (carpentry, ice-making, bakery, welding, battery charging, internet, radio, vegetable oil production etc).

AVN-Mali featured on CNBC TV

The renown of AVN's programme in Mali is spreading, as witnessed by a recent short item about the construction of a single vault village house, filmed on location near Segou by Reuters, and broadcast world-wide on April 11th by CNBC, the US cable, internet and satellite business news television channel. You can view it on the AVN website here.

Proof of the versatility of NV masons

These two items demonstrate the versatility of the teams of masons trained through AVN's programme in Mali - from large-scale projects such as the ZAE in Konséguéla, to the many small village houses for our key target group of rural families. During the 2014- 2015 construction season, of the 119 NV construction sites completed in Mali, 98% were for this target group of rural subsistence farmers.

Annual Report 2014-2015 now available

AVN's most recent and comprehensively illustrated Annual Report is now available, and can be downloaded from our website as a PDF file by clicking here.

 



Generator fired by local vegetable oils
Generator fired by local vegetable oils
An artisan workshop unit
An artisan workshop unit
An exterior view
An exterior view
Corridor view
Corridor view

Links:

Awareness raising meeting
Awareness raising meeting

In the context of the National Program for the Management of Natural Resources and Climate Change (le Programme de Gestion des Ressources Naturelles et Changements Climatiques PGRN-CC), operational in Mali since 2014, and coordinated by the Malian Agency for the Environment and Sustainable Development ( l’Agence de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable), AVN is receiving funding for a new 4-year program. The key points leading to funding of the NV program, running from 2015 - 2018, are cited as:
- a low carbon technology using locally sourced raw materials
- no use of timber nor imported construction materials
- the high energy efficiency of NV buildings
- extensive use of local labor.

The key aim of the program, which is being launched in 14 communes of the regions of Kayes and Koulikoro, is to kickstart the market for NV construction through:
• awareness raising amongst the target populations to bring about a demand for NV construction,
• active professional development of NV masons combining on-site training and supervision with theoretical workshops,
• the identification of local champions and partners in the promotion of the NV concept.

The first phase of the program, from June - September 2015, was the establishment of a new team and an AVN regional office in the town of Banamba. Since November last year, the regional coordinator, Fousseni Samaké, and the extension agent, Mamadou Diarra, have been running awareness raising events and meetings with institutional actors in the 4 communes of Banamba to identify construction projects and apprentice training sites.

Although the market for NV construction in Mali has been well recognised since 2007 by people in many rural areas, this is the first time the NV concept has been integrated into an important national program with a strategic focus on sustainable development. As such, this project is a major opportunity to demonstrate the key advantages of the NV concept to both regional and national institutions and authorities.

If you're interested and want to help, or find out more, check out the link to the AVN website below...

On-site apprentice training
On-site apprentice training
Marking out a NV construction site
Marking out a NV construction site
Training: discussion seminar
Training: discussion seminar
Classroom instruction
Classroom instruction

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Association la Voute Nubienne (AVN)

Location: Ganges, N/A - France
Website: http:/​/​www.lavoutenubienne.org
Project Leader:
Tony Kaye
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

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