Green Is Becoming The New Normal

Butaro Hospital in Nothern Rwanda | Photo: Mass Design

Africans will Gain from Eco-Housing
the wake of the ever increasing urbanisation of Africa’s cities, more has to be
done to protect the environment. The protection of the ecosystems in which we
[humans] live in is becoming more urgent as rapid development and
industrialization is ceaselessly leading to degradation and pollution. Yet, people
will always need shelter and better still affordable housing.

appears that ‘Green is becoming the new normal.’ The various steps toward
achieving green economies, spaces and cities has led construction industries
and development policies to aim for a greener approach to shelter.
provides a solution to the challenges of urbanization and crowded cities. With
it also comes affordability due to ease of access to construction resources and
material for great functional design and architectural aesthetics. And at the
same time preserves the continent’s rich natural biodiversity. 
argument that the suburbanization of rural communities would empower more youth
to remain in their townships has a lot to do with the collaboration of
development companies. As they pick up the message of sustainability,
investment in sustainable eco-housing architecture will lead to long and medium,
rather than short-term returns. It therefore makes great business sense to use
easily accessible resources in addition to investing in sustainable eco-housing
for Africa’s cities to thrive, starting with home, in Rwanda.

Empowering Citizens
Women Opportunity Center- Photo: Sharon Davis Design

types of eco-architecture are all not millionaire mansions and cribs tucked
away at secluded private locations. In Rwanda, they are mostly community
facilities set up to empower the daily citizen. Examples are hospitals like
Butaro Hospital in Burera District, Partners In Health (PIH)’s low-cost houses
in Rwinkwavu,  the Women Opportunity
Center in Kayonza and the Bisate Lodge in Musanze are but a few of eco-housing
at its best.
because most African countries are agricultural-based with more than 70% of
their populations living in rural areas, there is a lot to benefit from crop
management. Instead of wheat, rice and coffee farmers burning their crop
residues after tilling the land, these can be sorted and upcycled to make straw
bricks for construction. They can sell to recycling companies, make money off
their crop residue on top of their harvested crops and at the same time prevent
carbon emissions that affects the environment as a result of large scale
Lower Carbon Emissions

Kigali City | Photo: Worldtravels

the ever increasing challenges brought about by Climate Change, requires that
major adjustments are made for the future of the planet. Having less carbon
emissions means that those who trade on the carbon market, would work
hand-in-hand with the most affected in developing communities. Rather than
importing all sorts of construction material at hefty costs and using
non-biodegradable fossil fuels, they would greatly reduce building costs with
easily accessible and environmentally friendly resources. It’s a win-win for
the carbon traders, eco-housing companies as well as their clients.
eco-housing to succeed, more youth would need to be involved. This means that
while they would rather migrate to major cities to look for work, more jobs
would be created with the boom in the eco-construction sector. The
suburbanization of villages and townships, would create a multitude of SMEs and
employment in the agricultural, recycling, construction, bio-energy, research
and tourism sectors. With this more incentives for the development of rural
communities would come with partnerships that are made between the government,
private sector as well as the civil society. 
Lower Housing Costs

the middle-class living in the cities, eco-housing provides a financially apt
solution to the ever-increasing high mortgages and renting costs in the
suburbs. Having the ability to progressively improve ones livelihood, has a lot
to do with financial management. The country’s workforce would be more
productive if they did not spend more than half of their salaries or business
profits on renting spaces. Eco-housing would lower housing costs, and more
people would focus on productivity in their workplaces and businesses which in
turn boosts the economy.
inspiring more Africans to invest in green initiatives, also goes beyond
housing. It frees up more land space for the establishment of public spaces for
relaxation, sports and entertainment. This holistic approach to development
keeps in mind the health and wellness of the workforce and the environment.
as ‘green’ becomes the new normal, eco-housing is one path that will change the
way our societies evolve in ways that have never been imagined before. 


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