VSBK (Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln)
Regardless of economic crises and political instability, the urban agglomerations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal are expanding with an increasing hunger for building material. Since the urban growth rates even rise during periods of conflict, (when cities become comparatively safer places than rural villages), Kabul, Islamabad and Kathmandu are particularly affected by the increasing pollution by the booming brick industry.
Beyond the economic and environmental dimension, the brick sector is the reason for massive labour migration from rural areas or conflict zones, is changing the peri-urban landscape (clay mining) and contributing to a scarcity of coal. However, supplying the physical base for metropolitan expansion, the building material industry is a key player within the urban economy.In Islamabad, large, black-smoking brickfields are direct neighbours of new residential areas and urban key infrastructure such as the International Airport, creating conflicts between the brick industry and the town planning and civil aviation authorities.
Skat is supporting private and public stakeholders in overcoming their conflicting interests, developing win-win solutions for the parties concerned. Key element is the promotion of solutions for energy efficiency in the building material sector, which are not only reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but also increasing entrepreneurs’ profit through fuel savings of up to 40%. Simultaneously the project promotes improved working conditions and alternatives to the labour bondage and child labour employment, which are still common in the South Asian brick industry.
With technologies such as the Vertical Shaft Brick Kilns (VSBK), being in massive use in India, China and Vietnam, Skat offers the brick industry, the town planning agencies and policy-makers new opportunities for a sustainable integration of the building material industry within the development of peri urban zones.Mandated by SDC, Skat is currently implementing projects on promoting energy efficiency in the building material industry in Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan.