This season, AVN plans to open new programs in Benin and Ghana. We are currently searching for partnerships in order to help make these projects as effective as possible ...
Bénin, Zambia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Mauritania .... & more
In October 2010, AVN launched a program in the north of Benin with a franchise partner, Dassari Bénéfiz, in the region of Natitingou. This is a PVDP (Pilot Village Deployment Program) centred on the village of Nagassega.
Dassari-Bénéfiz sent a staffer from their association for training with the AVN in Boromo, who then returned to Benin with a team of NV masons. Their job is to construct some community buildings, to start the training of local apprentices, and, with the support of AVN-BF, to promote the NV concept.
This project should run for the next 4-5 years, and, eventually, if successful, may lead to the establishment of a national AVN team in Benin. The shared frontier between the south-east of Burkina and this region of Benin is a big advantage here.
AVN is on the look-out for other partners interested in NV constuction projects in Benin, to help scale up our program of training and development of a market for NV housing in this country.
An initial expoloratory mission, suggested by a Belgian NGO working in the Chibombo district of Zambia, was carried out in November 2009 by Jean Stasse (President of AVN-Belgium) and Thomas Granier (Founder and CEO of AVN).
This visit demonstrated many similarities between the situation in Zambia and that in the Sahel: mud-brick houses with thatch roofs, increasing deforestation, and a strong interest from local villagers in the NV concept. And the reversal of the dry (construction) seasons in rthe Sahel (October to May) and in southern Africa (May to October), means that NV masons from Burkina Faso can contribute to projects in Zambia without detracting from their work in the Sahel.
As a result, two Zambian apprentices came to Burkina Faso for initial training, followed by two visits to Zambia by NV Burkinabé masons in 2010 and 2011.
The lessons from these first two years' experience, in a country far from our main base, have highlighted the need to work with a reliable partner with in-depth knowledge of local conditions and a long-term commitment, and to adapt our strategy in the light of relevant local geological, climatic, economic, and socio-cultural factors.
Following on from these early initiatives, Jean Stasse and Tony Kaye (AVN President) are developing contacts with NGO's and other organizations based in Zambia and neighboring countries of southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa).
This visit confirmed the need for a pilot and evaluation phase before starting a new program. And before bringing in a one or more NV masons from Burkina Faso, it would be necessary to involve other local partners from different regions of the country: Madagascar offers a wide variety of climates, geology, and cultures, and the NV concept may well be approriate for some regions, but not for others.
A French architect, Jean Louis Rostaing, in association with Ecoles du Monde, after building a small vault on his land at Majunga, organised a visit by a NV mason from Burkina, Moussa Bonkian. A private client based in the high plateau region near the capital, Tananarive, has financed a small NV building with the help of Moussa Bonkian and local masons. This was a success, but attempts to build another NV in the region of Majunga, with a different climate and type of earth, turned out a failure
So, mixed results: some trained masons and potential clients in the region around the capital, but technical problems in the region of Majunga, which need to be analysed thoroughly. In the meantime, AVN awaits further developments from current and potential partners in the country.
In Rwanda, a partner-client working in the food sector was interested in testing the potential of NV buildings for intensive mushroom cultivation. In July 2011, two NV masons went to Rwanda to construct a pilot building.
Unfortunately, the early arrival of torrential rains meant that the building (two 10M vaults) was not completed in time, and suffered major damage. Nevertheless, we hope to continue the project in 2012, with an earlier start date to ensure that the building is complete and waterproofed before the rains start...
In January 2012, a Mauritanian NGO based in France, UJEOF, contracted a team of NV Burkinabé masons to construct two buildings in the south of the country (Oulombony). Discussions are underway to launch a PVDP (Pilot Village Deployment Program) in the region.
Other countries of the Sahel
AVN does not have active programs yet in many of the countries of the Sahel (Niger, Tchad, Ivory Coast, Togo, Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria, ...), mainly because of our limited resources, both human and financial.
However, two isolated NV buildings have been constructed in Ivory Coast and northern Togo, and discussions are underway with potential partners and/or clients in Guinea Conakry, Niger, and northern Ghana.
Elsewhere in the World
A Mexican mason, Stevan de la Rosa, after two months training with AVN in Burkina Faso, has constructed with colleagues two NV agricultural buildings in central Mexico: a barn and a (very elegant) chicken house. Stevan has also taught the NV technique on workshops run by the Adobe Alliance in Texas.
For requests for potential partnerships,and other information about our network of contacts worldwide, follow the link below....