With Very Little Rock and Sand Maldives Makes Concrete

50-years to build a working concrete supply solution

The island nation of Maldives is an example of building a concrete supply system from nothing and then moving from poverty to relative prosperity in one generation. This transition developed during the past five decades as an organized effort to build a stronger nation.

solid concrete supply chain built MaldivesThey knew that strength requires a solid foundation upon which to build a future. The result is an economy that uses  fishing, industry and tourism to participate in world markets.

The remarkable thing is that Maldives is barely above sea-level, has no access to washed river sands and has minimal resources needed to make solid concrete. But because of the risk of the rising sea water they understood that good concrete infrastructure would be a high development priority for the country. They have made a good concrete supply system a top priority and it has paid off.

Today the government, investors and consumers know that a building is only as sustainable as its foundation. This culture of correct construction has produced a concrete supply chain that works, even when it started with almost nothing.

The following image is the site of a new school building in Gan, the largest island in the Maldives.  Notice that there is concrete used for foundations, floors and pillars. Also notice that there are two modern concrete mixers on the site (lower right corner), along with a large crane and concrete placing bucket. If you didn’t know better you would think that this was a well-engineered construction site on the Island of Hawaii, not in the tiny Maldives.
A Construction Site

The nation of Maldives is an example of what planning and effort can produce in a relatively short period of time.  Economic strength will grow when the construction sector is given the tools to produce lasting results. After fishing, the largest source of employment in the country is in the industrial sector, including mining, manufacturing, power, and construction.  In that list you will find two major players of a functioning concrete supply chain – Mining and Construction.

There are developing nations around the world that are struggling to find a way out of poverty. Many of these countries have washed river sand and good rock waiting to be developed, yet they ignore the opportunity.  Many other nations have great resources that could be enhanced with a strong infrastructure.  Unfortunately these things go underutilized because we use the excuse that poverty will always prevail.

In Maldives this has been proven to be a failed argument.  Many people worked together to cause a change in Maldives, but Ali Umar Manikku was the man who, over a 50 year period, took a tiny nation of islanders from total obscurity to a well-to-do country. Manikku was the chief architect of Maldives development and he promoted methods to provide solid infrastructure for the country.

It takes a vision and a real plan for concrete to become a valuable resource and a support for a solid economy.  We hope that each developing nation will find their own Ali Umar Manikku and develop a strong future for their people.

Are you the next Manikku? We stand ready to help you…

We acknowledge xstream007 for the construction site photo

Bruce Christensen is the author at CementTrust


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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