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Earth roofs for Mali

Help families living on less than $2 a day to build houses that stay cool and emit less CO2

Solution
Buildings
Location
Mali
Evaluation
No official carbon standard
Volume
4kt
Price
33€
EARTH ROOFS FOR MALI
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Association La Voute Nubienne

Headquarter

Ganges, France

Project Launch Date

01 September 2019

The most powerful climate solutions aren’t always high-tech and brand new. This one is simple and ancient.

By contributing, you’ll help people living in the Sahel to build houses using a technique that’s thousands of years old – but which reduces carbon emissions and helps families adapt to climate change.

What is the background?

Around 22 million Malians and Burkinabe live in rural areas, and population growth is estimated at nearly 3% per year.

Many households in the Sahel region survive on less than $2 a day and live in tin-roofed buildings that are not suited to the rising temperatures caused by climate change. The wood used to build them is also becoming increasingly scarce.

What is the solution?

The Vault technique, which originated in Nubia (now Upper Egypt), involves building houses with vaulted roofs without a timber framework or shuttering; it uses locally sourced raw materials and simple tools, and requires only a basic level of technical competence.

The most ancient mud brick Nubian Vaults, in Luxor, are still standing over 3,300 years after their construction.

The houses also reduce CO2 emissions because they’re made with raw earth instead of metal sheets and cement, and they need less energy to keep them cool once they’re built.

By giving people the financial help to build these bioclimatic houses, the project’s potential impact on climate change is equivalent to 7% of the CO2 emissions produced each year in France by road traffic.

What are the other benefits?

The natural insulating properties of raw earth make these dwellings much more comfortable than those with tin roofs. So the Nubian Vault is a relevant solution for local populations to adapt to climate change – and the only one that is financially accessible to them.

In addition Nubian Vault are:

  • Durable: the walls are thick and the roof-terrace is resistant to both rain and wind – properly maintained, a NV house can be passed on from generation to generation.
  • Comfortable: in terms of thermal and noise insulation and its aesthetic properties, and also in daily usage (access to a roof-terrace, the option to add a second storey).
  • Ecologically sustainable: no need for timer, straw, nor for the production and transport of imported materials (corrugated iron roofing sheets, cement, steel beams).
  • Affordable: as labour represents almost the entire cost of the main structure of a NV, clients can provide (unskilled) labour and get a house at around half the price of one built with alternative techniques and materials.
  • Adapted to local economies: as labour and materials are sourced locally, the direct involvement of clients facilitates a non-monetised economy (self-build, mutual help, barter), and when cash is involved it stays in local economic circuits.
  • Easy to replicate: the technique is simplified and standardised to facilitate its adoption by local communities, without the need for specialist knowledge or complex equipment and tools.

ASSESSMENT

Everything you want to know about this project, at a glance.

Solution

Buildings

Reduction

Location

Mali

Local

Evaluation

No official carbon standard

Certification

Volume

4kt

Price

33€

Co-benefits

5 SDGs

Durability

N/A

Additionality

High

Barriers

High

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