From handmade gravel to handmade urbanism: human, nature and materials in the sand and stone supply chain in Bukavu, DRC

Sara Geenen, Bossissi Nkuba, and Divin-Luc Bikubanya

Bukavu’s population has tripled in the last twenty years and is on track of doubling in the next fifteen. This creates a huge demand for housing, informal employment and pressure on the environment. In this research, we trace the value chain of sand and stones, manually extracted along Lake Kivu, transported to the city of Bukavu, and materially transformed in the city’s handmade architecture. We do this by focusing on human labour, local ecosystems and city’s houses and urban plan.