Sustainable technologies
Benin, Burkina Faso

Fighting rural poverty through access to ecologically and economically viable housing (Phase 2)

The Nubian Vault Association

This project is the continuation of the ‘Fighting rural poverty through access to economically and ecologically viable housing‘ project, implemented from September 2009 to September 2011 in the Boromo region of Burkina Faso.

Through this new project, AVN’s goal is to enable as many people as possible living in the Sahel to acquire sustainable and decent housing. To reach this objective, AVN aims to expand the Nubian Vault market on a larger scale between now and 2020 . To this end, AVN uses a network of extension agents, who at the same time hire future masons and raise awareness among future users thanks to an outreach technique created by the association “A roof, a skill, a market”. This approach, already implemented in Burkina Faso, is going to be extended on a larger scale to various regions of the country Burkina as well as to Benin.

AVN’s work is based on a method for promoting the Nubian Vault technique: ‘a roof, a skill, a market’. This method will be implemented in the pilot region of Boromo and subsequently launched in other regions of the country and in the north of Benin.

The objectives of the new project are broken down as follows:

  • 30% of average annual growth for the Nubian Vault market, 50% of which in the ‘semi-independent’ market
  • 130 C4/C5 class masons trained
  • 1 800 Nubian Vaults built
  • 15 000 beneficiaries
  • 3 600 tonnes of carbon savings
  • € 1 million in direct local economic benefits

To achieve these objectives, AVN will carry out its activities via:

1. Support for market development in rural or semi-rural areas

The market will be developed through the setting up and running of a network of AVN franchised extension agents in rural and semi-rural areas. These extension agents will conduct awareness-raising initiatives so as to identify key figures who will then become AVN’s ‘champions’ in the village, undertaking to find potential clients or apprentices interested in Nubian Vaults. This will enable a local, self-regulated market to emerge, from which AVN will gradually withdraw. Such local-level initiatives are also backed up by market support at the national level: AVN acts as an intermediary between masons and clients who have already attended promotional meetings. Other initiatives are planned, such as the organization of a bi-annual five-day congress of Nubian Vault masons, where they can exchange views, take part in workshops and provide data on the state of the market. Finally, various communication tools will be provided so as to reach as many clients and opinion leaders as possible.

2. Urban research and development, complex buildings, complementary techniques, housing finance

AVN also plans to trial new awareness-raising methods in regions other than rural or semi-rural areas. Pilot schemes will be set up for Nubian Vault housing projects in peri-urban areas, to be funded through meso-credit. Construction firms and Nubian Vault masons in urban areas will be given support to help them to develop new techniques, particularly for public buildings. The Association will also carry out research so that Nubian Vault entrepreneurs can meet the broader demand: specific coatings, rock-free foundations, etc.

3. Dissemination of know-how, training and capacity building

AVN and its in-house consultants will refine their methodology and educational methods to train local partners and help them become self-sufficient. The Association will also provide support for the local management team in financial management, achieving its business plan, developing new clients and the opening of new branches in Burkina and Benin.

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