onsdag 30. september 2009

Two steps forward, one back..?

We have now come to the point where we actually have both a site and an overall program for our building project. And until yesterday we also had a plan on using ISSB, buying or renting the machine, hiring a trainer, and getting money from Norwegian sponsors. But then Amritha posed some of her always very good questions and we came in doubt. Is the ISSB really so excellent? It is not as cheap as we thought it would be. First of all, there’s the absolute necessity of a machine costing 2,8 mill shilling. Secondly, one needs trainers or workers that already know how to make the bricks. Both of the options creating expenses. Thirdly, one needs cement and cement is expensive.

The people in Bugoye are poor and used to being able to building a house with what they can find in their close surroundings. After all, they live surrounded by murram, stones, trees, mud – even limestone. So why make it more difficult than it already is?

The ISSB represents a sustainable future. It is a cheaper alternative for middle class housing and industrial buildings. The training of ISSB-making and – building is a possible new livelihood for young people in the district. A beautiful and well built example in Bugoye would set a standard and also inspire for further use of the method.

On the other hand, if most people in Bugoye can’t afford building with ISSB then why do they need to learn about it? Would it not be better if they came to learn better ways of building with mud? If we found a way to make the bricks more solid and more even, they would need less mortar. If they could build without mortar, with only mud and wood, it would be even cheaper. The question here is whether or not they would find the basic building methods too primitive and old fashioned. Or strange.

Maybe we should go ask them?

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