From handmade gravel to handmade urbanism

A VLIR TEAM project, started in September 2022 and running until August 2027, studies humans, nature and materials in the construction sector in Bukavu as well as in its supply chain. Follow us on the project website.

From handmade gravel to handmade urbanism: humans, nature and materials in South Kivu’s sand and stone value chains

In the project, we trace the value chain of sand and stones, manually extracted along Lake Kivu, transported to the city of Bukavu, and materially transformed into the city’s handmade architecture. Focusing on human labour, nature and material constructions, we envisage a threefold change: better protection of the environment around extraction, transport and construction sites, better protection of human labour (and particularly female labour) along the sand and stone value chain, and improved constructions and urbanisation of the city of Bukavu and future extensions. This project will co-construct knowledge in the fields of labour, environment and architecture, and train two PhD students (one in Environment and one in Development Studies) and two MSc students (one in Architecture and one in Human Settlements). In doing so, the project will contribute to strengthening multidisciplinary research and inter-faculty collaboration, through the consolidation of the existing research centre Centre d’Expertise en Gestion Minière (CEGEMI) and the creation of a new Academic Design Office (ADO) for a sustainable, inclusive and enriching urban future. The project responds to pressing needs in the city of Bukavu. It will have a solid societal impact through the continuous involvement of key stakeholders. A stakeholder platform, annual stakeholder meetings and creative outreach provide the conditions for uptake, while CEGEMI and ADO can consolidate these collaborations in a sustainable way.

Promotors: Bossissi Nkuba & Sara Geenen

Co-promotors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Lieven Bervoets, Dag Boutsen, Mac Mugumaoderha

Partners: Université Catholique de Bukavu, Universiteit Antwerpen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, VLIR-UOS.

On 28 April we organized a meeting with all stakeholders to officially launch the project.

CEGEMI invitation 28 avril    Projet CEGEMI-11

Access some of the conference presentations here:

Cegemi 28 avril_Présentation Iragi

CEGEMI 28 avril_Présentation Geenen

CEGEMI 28 avril_Présentation Nkuba et Geenen

These pictures have been taken during preliminary field research in Bukavu in April 2023. All pictures: Nabintu Kabagale