Why Bamboo – And Why Community Infrastructure?
B4G reflects innovative partnerships among public and private institutions working together to mobilize bamboo resources to address critical social needs in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania. We see bamboo as a valuable catalyst for social empowerment, economic vitality, and environmental health.
Our B4G Mission:
B4G provides leadership for uniting regional bamboo resources with institutional partnerships to create innovative bamboo industries and products, new workforce and economic development opportunities, and related educational programs, to address critical urban and rural quality-of-life conditions across East Africa.
Every day, across Uganda and East Africa, millions of people, their families, and their home communities face challenges of expensive maintenance and repairs to homes and commercial buildings, public spaces in need of shelters and seating to enjoy, and community infrastructure to improve the functionality of public works. Left unresolved, these and other concerns result in personal hardship, community disadvantages, lost economic potential, among other avoidable consequences. These and other issues represent opportunities for innovation and action.
Local, versatile, fast-growing, and strong – East Africa’s bamboo resources can bring new innovative health care products and technologies, new jobs, new economic development – new beginnings for people and communities seeking improved health care throughout the country. Durable building products and accessories, like roofing shingles, gutters, and wall panels, can make direct, beneficial -- and affordable -- impacts.
B4C will build on the vision and capacities of its sister programs to collaboratively design, manufacture, and distribute critical bamboo products made of regionally grown bamboo, and made by a regionally-trained and employed workforce. Our public / private partnerships will create new businesses opportunities throughout East Africa, affiliated with B4C and devoted to producing quality bamboo products in support of critical community needs.
What is Critical?
Every B4C artifact produced – whether a roofing sheet, park bench, bus shelter, a utility pole, fence row, or water station – will represent the B4G mission and related system of beneficial impacts. Our products will directly and indirectly contribute to improving the quality of life for all. Indeed, we view the resolution of poverty and economic hardship, and general social empowerment, as critical to the successful, sustainable future of the region and the planet.
Our process for designing and delivering critical community infrastructure resources to local communities is deliberately simple:
- Contact and meet with village and community leaders, local residents, service providers: Listen and learn about their experiences, and reveal how bamboo resources would be of benefit;
- Together, determine types and scope of need throughout the community: what are the critical unmet or under-served conditions? What resources would make a direct difference?
- Introduce and discuss bamboo product prototypes and invite the community to indicate their preferences.
- Mobilize our B4C partners to manufacture and deliver identified products to community ASAP.
- Collaboratively design methodologies for evaluating product performance and provide reports for continuous quality improvement.
The design and performance of B4C products will reflect industry best-practices: High-quality, durable components; Designs that honor and best serve diverse health care needs, and Made in, by, and for citizens across East Africa.
Four elements define all of our ambitious B4G programs -- this is how we transform bamboo into benefits!
Program Objectives and General Targets:
- Complete design of First Generation
- Hire, train, and support farmers to grow bamboo at specified volumes and conditions
- Train and employ new workers to build, deliver, and service the products
- First delivery of units (TBD) per quarter
- Draft and begin implementation of recording and tracking usage data to coincide with unit deliveries.
Our Action Plan
Beginning in 2016, B4G is pursuing the following activities for all of its programs:
- Recruit to create an Interdisciplinary Design Team to provide leadership and guidance on all aspects of the B4H program system
- Seek and secure financial and material (in-kind) support for implementation of Action Plan
- Design and launch B4H webpage, social media, and related information materials to support community outreach and engagement
- Research and reveal status of existing bamboo resources in Uganda and throughout East Africa
- Collaboratively determine best-practices for new workforce training, design of facilities and manufacturing processes, and local distribution of and support for resulting products.