Curing the World’s Poorest Concrete…

The evidence of poor concrete is overwhelming.

Earthquake damage from poor concrete

We can change this!

Concrete exacts a huge toll during an earthquake or other natural disaster. The price of poor quality concrete is death and injury for those who live in poverty. These poor practice waste the World’s resources which are applied to heal and rebuild. Yet, concrete improvement continues to be ignored.

How can a material that works so well in San Francisco fail so badly in Haiti?

The answer can be found within the concrete supply system of poor countries.

The solution to this problem can be fixed with the right plan. But it will take a focused effort to repair a complete supply chain. Many organizations focus on health or water or training. These are all great efforts and they do make a difference. But we wonder who is creating the plan to incrementally improve the supply system that is used to rebuild? Who is focusing on concrete?

If we could trust the sand in developing countries to not corrode the steel reinforcements, wouldn’t that be a step in the right direction? If they could build with a consistently batched ready-mix concrete, wouldn’t that add an extra element of trust into the construction process?

The word sustainable is bantered about a bunch within international development circles. Why is it sustainable to continue to allow simple products like sand and concrete to not be trusted and cause destruction? Is the disaster rebuilding industry that profitable that we ignore fixing this problem? This is not really that hard to fix

We need someone with a plan…

CementTrust Plan

The following 6 steps will begin the process to cure the world’s poorest concrete:

1. Find something other than the poor themselves to blame for the problem and then rally the public behind this cause. We have chosen to blame the shovels…

2. Establish a leadership organization that will coordinate the improvements to the supply system while creating a scalable model for a larger development process.  Many consider CementTrust to be the leader in this space…

3. Identify each of the links in the concrete supply chain so that individual industries can be targeted for improvement. We have just mentioned two… Sand and Ready-mixed concrete…

4. Provide additional research data to prioritize the links in the chain that need the most attention and will yield the highest development benefit.

5. Rally international suppliers to join in the effort and encourage them to develop products that fit the appropriate scale for developing nations.  We have shared the work of Cart-Away, Vermeer and ACTECH…

6. Produce a written plan that can be presented to those who will need to “buy-in” to the work.

With the millions of dollars spent to rebuild following disasters, it is reasonable to suggest that we find a solution to the world’s poorest concrete.

Do you have a better plan? We would like to work with you…

Bruce Christensen is the author at CementTrust

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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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