Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Belated Earth Day

One of the biggest problems facing the world, especially developing countries, is the abuse of the natural environment. BULA recognizes that successful development begins with the protection of the Earth and is committed to using environmentally friendly building techniques in all of its construction projects. Recently we were recognized for our efforts.

A representative from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, came to visit St. Kizito Primary School. UN-Habitat "is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all" ( They were in Uganda studying the use of Interlocking Soil Stabilized Blocks (ISSB) in East Africa and through our connection with The Good Earth Trust ( and Makerere University heard about our school.

ISSB is a way of making bricks that deviates from the traditional methods which are very harmful to the environment because of deforestation, the burning of firewood, and the large amounts of carbons released into the air. ISSB are made from a mixture of soil, water, and cement. This composition is then compressed with a hand press machine. The blocks don't require any firewood and they dry in a matter of days. All the soil used to make the blocks came from digging the underground water tank at the school. The interlocking feature on the blocks makes them more structurally sound than traditional bricks and they require less mortar between the blocks. Using less cement decreases carbon output and makes construction more cost effective.

The representative from UN Habitat was extremely pleased with our school and stated that it was the best project he had seen on his travels. He was also impressed with the overall design of the school, the water filters that were installed, the solar power, our commitment to quality education, and the underground water tank which promotes good health and gives back to the community. What will come of his visit is yet to be seen, but St. Kizito Primary School could be used as model project for the UN to promote this technology throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. We will have to wait and see.

I have also posted a link to an article in the New York Times on April 16th expressing concerns about developing countries connection to global warming. This link is a slide show to accompany that article

Please know that BULA is continuing its commitment to preserve and protect the earth and is now looking into environmentally friendly cooking technologies for future projects. Visit The Good Earth Trust website or that for UN-Habitat to learn more.

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