Brick by Brick began its work in 2003 when we found that most free public primary schools were in a terrible physical state. We started rebuilding these schools, providing a safe and supportive learning environment for thousands of children.
Initially we faced challenges in completing our projects on time and on budget. In 2011 we responded to this challenge by establishing Brick by Brick Construction Company, focusing on professional and high quality construction services. This social enterprise promotes the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. Briefly, the Triple Bottom Line illustrates our commitment to the environment, the health of our communities, and a sustainable, profitable business.
The Triple Bottom Line
Traditional brick-making in sub-Saharan Africa involves the draining of wetlands to create mud bricks that are baked for weeks in large kilns. It takes one ton of firewood to create 1000 bricks, leading to deforestation. We use an environmentally sustainable technology called "Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks." Our bricks are made with a simple, human-powered press. In addition to being 50% larger than typical mud bricks, their interlocking nature adds structural stability and reduces the amount of cement required for the mortar layer between the rows of bricks, which significantly reduces the cost of construction and gives our company a competitive market advantage.
Our company also specializes in the construction of water and sanitation systems. We have completed over 200 projects throughout Uganda, providing clean, safe water for 200,000 people and saving over 22 acres from deforestation.
We look at each community as a whole, assessing their basic needs in terms of education, health, and living conditions. Our employees are a very important part of the community. We are committed to the quality of life of the skilled and unskilled workers that are employed by Brick by Brick Construction, all of whom are Ugandan. Our company provides a fair wage, comprehensive health insurance, a share of our annual profits, and a safe working environment.
We meet with our staff of masons on a regular basis, offering them an opportunity to openly express their thoughts and opinions. Our staff is dedicated; most of our skilled masons have been with us for over four years.
In each of our eight years of operation, Brick by Brick Construction has turned a modest profit. Our principal product has been the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks, which serve a critical need for safe and clean drinking water in rural communities.
While Brick by Brick Construction is fully committed to its business-for-profit model, we will continue to re-invest all profits back to our communities. We therefore reap significant social benefits from our work, while being a powerful economic engine for our communities.