The French photographer Régis Bernard visited AVN's program in Senegal this year, and sent us these magnificent images of NV masons and their work. Click here to view ...
AVN started work in Senegal in 2007, with the Communauté de communes du Val de Drôme (CCVD), who asked AVN to provide a team of masons to build a major project, La Maison des Energies technical training centre, in Sinthiou Bamanbé (near Matam, NE Senegal). The buildings (~ 800 M2) were constructed over three consecutive seasons by NV masons, and several local apprentices were trained.
Since 2010, the main AVN Program in Senegal is centred on Podor in the region of Saint Louis, as the result of a partnership with the Franco-Senegalese NGO le Partenariat, and with support from La Fondation d'Entreprise Eiffage. In addition, a group of Senegalese and Burkinabé NV masons, headed by Eugène Sanon, laid the basis for an emerging market in NV housing in Thies.
The AVN office in the sentre of Thies - the first to be built in an urban milieu.
Since the start of the program in Senegal in 2007:
In 2012, ~ 200 linear metres of vaults were built for 9 clients; 22% of the market in NV housing was autonomous (direct contact client <> NV mason/entrepreneur).
A key challenge for the 2012-13 season is to increase the recruitement and training of Senegalese apprentices - so far, most of the consrtruction work has been carried out by NV masons from Burkina Faso and Mali.
In blue : the Podor regional program
In brown : 2 local, artisanal, programs based on Thiès & Matam
The families in this sector represent AVN's key target group; however a much higher proportion of Senegalese live in urban and peri-urban areas than in Burkina Faso or Mali, so AVN needs to modify its strategy accordingly.
The only formal AVN program in this sector at the moment is the one with Le Partenariat around Podor, and this has only just been launched.
Haidar El Ali and his organisation l'Océanium, opened a franchise program with AVN in 2010/11 near Kolda.
This could become an important sector for AVN in Senegal. A start has been made in the town of Thies, where there are abundant supplies of suitable earth for adobe construction.
There seems to be an important potential for an independent market in NV construction in Senegal, as demonstrated by the work that has started in Thies.
As AVN does not yet have a permanent team in Senegal, it is not possible to support projects in other countries from here. However, recent interest from Mauritania in the NV concept could lead to more Mauritanian apprentices being trained on NV sites in Senegal.
Work is underway on tests of different additives in earth mortar coatings for roofs and walls, as well as a search for alternatives to the use of rocks for foundations in regions of Senegal where no natural sources of rocks exist.
AVN has produced in 2011 a series of NV house and building plans adapted to the Senegalese context, based on the modularity of the NV concept; an example can be dowloaded below: