Blog #4: 10 Reasons to Love Bamboo (or for the Love of Bamboo)

Historically, bamboo has been a basic construction material in tropical regions of the world, often used for shacks, stalls, fences, scaffolding and sunscreens. However, it doesn’t have to remain that way.

Today, bamboo can serve as an invaluable building material for permanent buildings and structures, especially in developing countries, in place of steel or reinforced concrete, which typically have to be imported at great cost (Hebel, D.).

  1. Bamboo is environmental-friendly and captures and converts carbon emissions.
  2. Bamboo grows rapidly, much faster than wood.
  3. Bamboo is relatively easy to propagate and is readily available in many regions throughout the world.
  4. Bamboo is flexible, and can bend to withstand wind forces.
  5. Bamboo can be used to clothing and other crafts.
  6. Bamboo can be used to create furniture.
  7. Bamboo can be prefabricated locally into flooring material. #producedontimport
  8. Temporary shelter, for example short-term for disaster victims and refugees.
  9. When appropriately grown, cut, treated, dried, and laminated, bamboo is strong enough to replace timber as a structural building material. Future research to study its properties is being done at the Singapore-ETH Center in the Future Cities Laboratory.
  10. Bamboo can also be used for building infrastructure. Historically, bridges were built out of bamboo in 10th century AD China as well as floating villages with bamboo platforms
  11. (Bonus). Bamboo can serve as a yummy treat for cuddly panda bears.

SOURCES

  1. Ubud News. (2017). Vale Linda Garland, Legend. http://ubudnowandthen.com/vale-linda-garland-legend/. Retrieved January 3, 2020.

2. Jackson, D. (2019). Permaculture Research Institute. Bamboo Architecture: Bali’s Green School Inspired a Global Renaissance. https://permaculturenews.org/2019/09/30/bamboo-architecture/. Retrieved January 3, 2020.

3. Hebel, D. (2014). Bamboo Could Turn the World’s Construction Trade on Its Head. http://theconversation.com/bamboo-could-turn-the-worlds-construction-trade-on-its-head-29685. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

Blog #3: 28 UN-affiliated Organizations Doing Development Work in Africa

Since I was in high school, I have always dreamed about working for the UN or a for a similar organization to do nation-building work and promote the standard of living and inspire women empowerment on the African continent.

Here is a list of UN- affiliated organizations doing economic and infrastructure development work in the region.

  1. ACDI/VOCA
  2. African Development Bank
  3. Agence Francaise de Developpement
  4. Ashoka
  5. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  6. Counterpart International
  7. Creative Associates International
  8. CTG
  9. Cuso International
  10. DAI
  11. FHI360
  12. Global Communities
  13. Habitat for Humanity
  14. IMPACT/ACTED
  15. International Fund for Agricultural Development
  16. IMF
  17. OxFam
  18. Pact
  19. Social Impact
  20. Solidante International
  21. Tetra Tech
  22. UNICEF
  23. United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
  24. United Nations Development Program
  25. UN-Habitat
  26. United Nations Office of Project Services
  27. United States Agency for International Development
  28. Volunteer Services Overseas

SOURCES

  1. UN Channel. Browse by Organizations. https://unchannel.org/browse-by-organization.php. Retrieved on January 1, 2020.

Do you know of other organizations doing development work on the African continent?

Blog #2: Uber & Lasgidi Transit

On June 28, I opened and read the Morning Brew newsletter and came across the article, “Hey Lagos Residents, Uber Wants to Float Your Boat”. Uber is launching a water taxi service in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s a city I’m very familiar with, and the most populous city on the African continent.

This took me back to April 2017, where I made #3 place in Suffolk University’s Greenhorn Summit pitch competition in April 2017. I developed a deck for LasGidi Transit, a business-class water taxi concept across the Lagos lagoon. In the process, I connected with some movers and shakers in some Lagos ‘s mass transportation agencies. This all started when I took an Urban & Environmental Planning class on Sustainable Transportation. Then, I took a class on Innovative Social Entrepreneurship and I decided to launch a business venture based on what I had learned about the transportation challenges in hyper dense, major cities like Lagos, specially one that is surrounded by water.

About 2 weeks after the end of the entrepreneurship class, I took a 2 week trip to Lagos, a city that my family is closely connected to, and experienced firsthand what being a commuter was like and the challenges that are unique to that city. Coincidentally, I took a lot of Uber rides when I was in Lagos. Uber has been a boon to the middle class, driver-less, and busy middle class of Lagos, and income-earning opportunity for Uber drivers.

Those challenges are not insignificant and I am thrilled for the people of Lagos, especially business commuters whose daily commutes can be as long as 4 hours.

And while I am bummed out that Uber beat me to the market in Lagos, I’m amazed that my business concept was one that held water, something that a mega corporation like Uber believes is viable. Amazing! So excited for how this goes.

Cheers, Jane

SOURCES

1. Grant, K. Hey Lagos Residents, Uber Wants to Float Your Boat. https://www.morningbrew.com/daily/stories/2019/06/28/hey-lagos-residents-uber-wants-float-boat. Retrieved on June 28, 2019.

P.S. Please reach out to me if you’re interested to hear more about LasGidi Transit. I would love to meet like-minded people.

Blog Post #1: Lagos Building Collapse

Children from the Lagos school could still trapped under the rubble –https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47573224

This blog post has been long overdue. But it’s finally here. I took several months, waiting and waiting and trying to decide what I wanted to talk about in my first post. I wanted it to be the right topic, the perfect topic. I had several ideas, but none of them spur me to write. The longer I waited…the harder it was to start. Until finally this week, something jolted me out of my hesitancy…

I first learned about the news when I stepped out to the jobsite this week early on Monday morning. One of the foremen I had befriended on the job told me if I had heard. I hadn’t. Bill kept up on African news, even better than I did. On March 13, a 3-story building had collapsed in Lagos Island, Nigeria, and took the lives of 20 people and injured many others. Rescue efforts were underway.

Reading further revealed that a school had been set up in the building, also the building had been previously marked for demolition because the Lagos State government knew that it was not structurally sound. But the building remained and was being used. Totally and completely devastating.

Why hadn’t the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory for Buildings done a better job? Why are they cavalier with human lives? Apparently, there is  a pattern of building collapses in Lagos. In March 2016, a 5-story building in Lekki, Lagos killed 34 people and on that December, a roof collapse at a church service took 160 lives. The Nigerian government needs to do better.

On March 16, 2019, a 3-story building collapsed 200 miles away, in Ibadan, Nigeria, 3 days after the March 13th building collapse in Lagos. Thankfully, no lives were lost, but survivors were injured and some trapped in the debris for hours. 

One positive outcome from these ghastly events is that Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari signed the Engineers Registration Amendment Act 2019. The government intends to create a regulatory board for the engineering industry, Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), which will train, educate and regulate professional engineers. I find it surprising that there wasn’t such a council already in place. However, I’m happy for progress.

I have family in Lagos, and grew up in Ibadan and my deepest condolences go to all affected by these events. Paragraph

SOURCES

1. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/03/lagos-collapsed-building-south-south-chiefs-body-in-lagos-condoles-with-victims-families/

2. https://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN1QW1OM-OZATP

3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/world/africa/lagos-nigeria-building-collapse-children-school.html

4. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/03/building-collapse-buhari-assents-to-engineers-registration-amendment-act-2019/


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