Concrete Steps… Another conference that mentions concrete!

The word CONCRETE keeps getting mixed into the conversation

World bank and concrete steps for reconstructionThe World Bank has just concluded the first World Reconstruction Conference for the international development community. Following the event they published a report suggesting that they had committed to some “concrete steps” that would lead to better reconstruction processes in the future.

Joining the leadership of the event was the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). (These groups really know how to create long names and alphabet soup, don’t they?)

Each of these groups use one word as they discuss their reconstruction plans:


They mention concrete results, concrete steps, concrete solutions and concrete ideas. They really like the solid imagery that CONCRETE brings to mind. But I wonder if they give actual CONCRETE much of a thought in their meetings on reconstruction. Are there any discussions about how poverty causes builders to use shovels instead of better tools to make CONCRETE? Was there a panel topic concerning the ability to produce a better CONCRETE block, or to process aggregates that are appropriate for making CONCRETE?

If they took the time to review the objectives for sustainable international development they would find that CONCRETE is more than just a word to be sprinkled into the press release. Good CONCRETE can be the foundation of sustainable reconstruction and would mean more than just a passing word to the people of any developing nation.

Good concrete infrastructure will help prevent future catastrophes from becoming major world banking problems, and many agree that preventative measures in construction create sustainability while also mitigating future risk.

“We know from experience that prevention pays, if done right,” Zoubida Allaoua, Director of the Finance, Economics, and Urban Development Department at the World Bank suggested to the attendees at this event. CementTrust suggests that we reconstruct in a way that fits with the words “done right”?

If “prevention pays” then how can we let the shovels continue to work in poor nations? How can we not invest in better block production or better mining for the raw materials? Prevention requires finding better solutions in the present to solve potential issues in the future.

If the word concrete is so important in explaining the quality of the development discussion, why doesn’t real CONCRETE become the central topic at a conference on reconstruction?


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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