The 24/7 news coverage of the Haiti crisis makes three things abundantly clear: 1) the extraordinary hardship that befell the Haitian population and which will last, sadly, for a long time, 2) the logistical nightmare of trying to coordinate donations and rescuers’ movement in/out and around Haiti and 3) the particular damage that concrete buildings can cause. As we understand it, a large percentage of the casualties have come from collapsing concrete walls and ceilings.
This speaks directly to CO2 Bambu’s mission of providing bamboo-based semi-permanent disaster relief housing. To be sure, the immediate need in Haiti is to provide water, food and medical treatment to the thousands impacted by the earthquake. But in the medium term, past the immediate crisis, the world will need to rally and provide funding and solutions to rebuild Haiti. Some estimates already floating around suggest that Port au Prince may take 5 years to rebuild.
With this in mind, CO2 Bambu has launched an initiative to accelerate the development of an ultra low cost housing solution. Bamboo is uniquely fitted to address low cost housing needs in earthquake prone areas, because of bamboo’s inherent strength and flexibility. If and when bamboo walls crash, the weight is significantly less than concrete and studies have shown that bamboo is indeed the material of choice in environments that are earthquake prone.
The global network of bamboo housing producers is revving up to come up with solutions that are well suited to Haiti. We will do our best to contribute to Haiti’s fast, affordable and safe reconstruction.