Guns Don’t Kill People, Shovels Do

CementTrust Coalition formed to end inadequate concrete construction in world’s poorest countries; end goal is to save lives and reconstruction costs.

Mixing cement on the ground in HaitiMcMinnville, Oregon, April 20, 2011 – A coalition of concrete construction experts has emerged to stop shovels from killing people.

In poor nations where cement is mixed on the ground with shovels, buildings collapse when disaster hits because of the poor construction methods. The CementTrust Coalition aims to turn first-world business knowledge into third-world construction assets, saving both money and lives.

The CementTrust Coalition will lead a movement of corporate, government and non-profit entities to train contractors and inspectors to help change the culture of poor and structurally inadequate concrete construction. Investing in appropriate concrete construction methods will save billions of dollars and thousands of lives. As examples, recent earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan produced relatively small losses of life and property compared to the losses caused by a far less powerful quake in Haiti which killed over 300,000 people. The difference was appropriate concrete supply chain support and construction methods.

In underdeveloped nations the problems begin with a lack of quality raw materials and the high cost of cement. A lack of training in structural engineering, reinforcing procedures and proper forming add to the problems. These issues then are exacerbated by the lack of appropriate cement mixing and concrete block production technologies.

Cement-based products are the second most consumed products on earth, following water. Concrete construction is the most culturally accepted building process in poor nations, yet resources and support for this activity take a backseat to other humanitarian efforts. The earthquake and the remaining rubble piles in Haiti from the January 2010 earthquake only highlight the crisis of the concrete supply system. CementTrust will focus attention and effort on solving these issues.

Countries donate millions of dollars to rebuild nations like Haiti after a disaster, yet the money doesn’t necessarily provide sustainable concrete construction. If concrete was stronger and new buildings safer, there would be a huge savings in reconstruction costs, leaving more resources for life-saving needs.

Membership in CementTrust
For a company committing assets to the movement, membership delivers well-crafted, cost-effective ways to get focus, find partners, improve effectiveness, and boost ROI. Some benefits of membership include:
* Knowledge Sharing and Joint Problem Solving: initial efforts will include online forums, working groups and round tables.
* Strategy and Policy Setting: the coalition provides tools and counsel for members to set priorities and direction.
* Connections, Partnerships and Networking: including networking events, working groups, and collaborative action programs.
* Awareness, Advocacy and Communications: the coalition raises awareness through communication efforts, advocacy programs and media relations.

“Stop the Shovels”
The coalition is encouraging interested parties, with no obligation, to join their Facebook Fan Page, sign up for a newsletter on the CementTrust blog, and to join the effort by starting a “Stop the Shovels” campaign.

About CementTrust Coalition
The goal of CementTrust Coalition is to turn first-world business knowledge into third-world construction assets. By joining the corporate sector with government and society in a common focus on concrete, we make the global concrete supply chain smarter. With the high-impact leadership of companies, the influence of leaders of governments and the hands-on work of charities, we can work together to make a difference in concrete construction – and to save lives.
Click on the Stop the Shovels link at the top right of this page.

Our thanks to Kirkpatrick Communications for producing this information and for their valuable assistance to the CementTrust Coalition.
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About cementtrust

I am a director with Cement Trust and passionate about improving cement-based production in the poorest nations of the world.
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