The BBBC Expo should have Haiti looking for better concreteThe idea of a building exposition holds great interest for those who want to promote their big ideas. Business people from the industrialized world know that a quality trade show can really help sales.
After all there is the promise of thousands of homes and access to the biggest names in government; Gaining connections with big decision-makers is the dream of every capitalist.
The name of the expo is tied to the “build back better” theme that we have all discussed for Haiti since the earthquake, cholera and hurricanes have battered the island. Most want to see these beleaguered people move from their tents and into a safer structure, protected from the elements.
The problem is that most of the big ideas presented at the Expo carry with them a big price tag. There are composite panels, plastic cubes, solar panels and alot of imported materials. I can imagine a great deal of sticker-shock when Haitians who earn a few dollars a day see a $10 or $20 thousand dollar price-tag for a home.
Big ideas mean nothing if they don’t fit the customer-base. These great ideas are useless unless the government or the Clinton Foundation are going to fund the purchase of these thousands of structures.
The money spent chasing the next big idea, imported from abroad, might be better spent by just raising the bar in Haiti’s traditional building solution…. Concrete
They know they can build a small house from concrete and cement-based building materials at a price-point that is within reach. CementTrust suggests that the big project for Haiti should revolve around making small steps forward in the Haitian concrete supply chain. Right now it is a broken system that needs fixing. Fixing cement-based construction products and systems would have the biggest impact on the effort to build back better communities.
The bonus that would come from this effort would be that the Haitians working in the new and improved concrete supply chain would improve their standard of living and could afford a better home. If Haiti’s economic situation improves they might find a way to get one of the fancy big ideas from overseas.