Would you build your home this way?
Is this OK for the poorest of the world?
Thousands of volunteers take up shovels and join the poorest people of the world in a well-meaning act of charity. They fly in to rescue and rebuild devastated lives. They take vacation time to help build a shelter or an orphanage or a medical clinic. They then return home to report the experience of mixing concrete on the ground with the local people. Many lives are changed as those of us who have so much share with those who have so little.
These are all good deeds and they should never stop.
We don’t blame the volunteers, the sponsors or the recipients of this service for the concrete that comes from the ground.
We Blame the Shovels
The shovels of disaster represent a failed system that in the industrialized nations is called the concrete supply chain. In the least developed countries, the concrete supply chain has never been given much attention, because concrete is hardly even noticed. That is, until disaster strikes and thousands are crushed and hurting.
Unfortunately we rush in to save the wounded and bury the dead, but we never get around to fixing the concrete supply chain. To build a sustainable construction industry it will require a functioning supply system that produces quality materials.
There is just as much charity in the act of mixing concrete in a mixing machine as there is in picking up a shovel, but without as much risk…