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Bamboo

Why Bamboo?

Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on earth, and supplies a global trade worth US$2 billion per year.  Bamboo is a strong natural, durable material that has a wide range of uses. 

Using bamboo reduces the need to cut down trees for timber thereby protecting the forests. There are varieties of bamboo that are suited to semi arid climates of Africa requiring little rainfall to flourish. 

Bamboo poles are considered mature and suitable for construction purposes between 2-5 years making them a more economically viable alternative to timber trees.  

Bamboo buildings have good fire resistance and their elasticity make them durable in earthquake prone areas. It is also lighter than other building materials making it more convenient to transport.

Bamboo also has several ecological advantages:

  • The root system acts as an effective protection against erosion and delays the draining and soaking away of rain water and thus serving as a moisture store.
  • Filters water, removing nutrients and dangerous poisons such as heavy metals before they get into the food chain.
  • Can be grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals because of it’s high innate anti bacterial content.

Bamboo has a wide range of uses:

  • Housing
  • Charcoal briquettes for household cooking to prevent deforestation
  • Biomass production
  • Pulp for paper industries
  • Hardboard, particle board and pulpwood pipes
  • Crates, fish-traps
  • Canoe poles, arrow and spear shafts
  • Leaves as fodder
  • Plants for hedges
  • Windbreaks
  • Soil erosion control
  • Rehabilitation of degraded sites
  • Food
  • Fibre used for clothing, sanitary pads etc