Bamboo Sheds Sustainability in Nepal Essay Example

Bamboo Sheds Sustainability in Nepal 6

Bamboo Sheds Sustainability in Nepal

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Bamboo sheds sustainability in Nepal

Nepal has been faced with food insecurity problem for long. This situation has been attributed to natural and artificial causes such as climate change occasioned by deforestation. In addition, poor infrastructure especially the storage structures have also contributed to the problem as the available technology of constructing modern shed is beyond the reach of many farmers in Nepal and scholars have been looking for the use bamboo as an alternative material for construction of storage sheds. This paper discusses the sustainability of the use of bamboo sheds by farmers in Nepal.

Bamboo is one of the fast growing renewable materials with diversified use. Bamboo as a building material has some economic impact and long term economic sustainability to a community in the long run if used as alternative construction material. The use of bamboo in constructing shed in Nepal creates demand for production of the material as an alternative to steel and concrete1. Nepal has been immensely affected by changing climatic conditions that have been occasioned by deforestation and other human activities. Bamboo grows very fast especially in the mountainous regions like Nepal and the plant has the potential of converting a substantial amount of carbon dioxide released in the environment as compared to other trees2. In addition, bamboo plant regenerates after first harvesting and can be harvested annually for a long time unlike trees that produce timber which do not re-generate after the first harvest. Consequently, bamboo plant has the potential of generating environmental benefits compared to steel and timber. The plant has a potential of yielding ecological benefits in country with environmental and weather problems like Nepal, for it aids in prevention of soil erosion on the slopes of Nepal mountains which can help in reclaiming more land for agricultural production in the country . Moreover, Bamboo plants increases forest coverage that creates option for

protection and conservation of tropical forests that influences rainfall and temperatures necessary for effective agricultural production3. However, the use of bamboo in construction of sheds is prone to failure costs in the long run as factors like intensive quality control and material preservation if ignored during selection of building materials may affect the sustainability of bamboo sheds in Nepal. In addition, bamboo materials like timber are also vulnerable to fire destruction and this may attract sustainability of bamboo sheds in the event of fire outbreak4

The hollowness and presence of fibres in bamboo makes it efficient in provision of structural design as compared to timber and steel because it provides less material mass that is required for construction5. This also makes the use of bamboo to be preferred because of the inherent flexibility in construction of different shed designs suitable for varying topographies in Nepal since there is a small arable land for farming. Furthermore, the favourable mechanical features inherent in bamboo materials coupled with high flexibility, low weight and less acquisition costs make it more sustainable and economical as compared to other construction materials. The alternative use of Bamboo as a material for construction of storage sheds in Nepal notably attracts running costs and maintenance as well as disposal costs. Low resistance to biological degrading organisms and insects characterizes most bamboo species and without treatment they can only last for a period not more than two years6. Therefore, the material requires protective treatment for it to last for reasonable useful time and this is associated with given costs. Consequently, special preservation and drying techniques aimed at preserving bamboo shed construction materials for them to last for more than thirty years requires huge cost investment. Selective harvesting at high altitudes followed by submerging of the materials under high temperature in non-toxic boron solution and kiln or solar drying forms the intensive preserving process that enables the materials to last for a longer period. The running costs involved in the construction of bamboo may include importation of labor and the materials since Nepal has limitation in terms of production of bamboo and construction expertise required. The disposal costs are low since bamboo structures are easy to destroy as compared to those made of steel and timber.

The project bamboo sheds has numerous possible potential economic spin-offs for the community living in Nepal and the economy at large. Creation of market for bamboo products and materials is one of the potential economic benefits likely to be realized through the shed project. Due to sustainability and low costs of bamboo materials as compared to steel and timber in constructing sheds more farmers will be attracted to the use of technology therefore creating demand for the materials7. This in turn has a potential of influencing some of the farmers to adopt business of farming and trading in bamboo materials in order to create the required market therefore diversifying the Nepal economy and acting as a mitigation measure towards food insecurity. Moreover, the establishment of bamboo plantations has potential positive impact to the Nepal environment because they will lead to creation of forests that are necessary for temperature regulation and influence of rainfall, which in turn will increase the crop yields from farming8.

Bamboo being a multi-purpose tree can be associated with up skilling of local community and creation of other opportunities, which are not related to farming. Construction of bamboo sheds though simple will create demand for expertise in terms of treating the materials after harvesting and use of them in construction of sheds and other structures. Some of the community members will be required to upgrade their skills in order to serve this market. Consequently, there will be opportunities created in making other products out of bamboo materials such as charcoal, furniture and aesthetic products9. These will expand Nepal’s economic activities as well as creating the skills required in the manufacturing of products from bamboo materials.


It is worth noting that bamboo is one of the multi-purpose materials that have diversified use. The construction of bamboo sheds has unprecedented economic impact and is one of the sustainable and economically viable projects in Nepal based on the potential environmental and economic benefits realized through its implementation. Preservation and treatment costs of bamboo materials, which are relatively low, are some of the running and maintenance costs associated with the project. The cost of disposal is lower as compared to sheds made of steel because bamboo materials are easy to destroy. Moreover, the project has numerous potential economic spin-offs such as creation of opportunities for economic activity diversification, alleviation of food insecurity problem and creation of other economic products in Nepal.


Singh, Sanjay. Productivity Enhancement and Creation of Value Addition of Bamboos. Institute of Forest Productivity: Indiana council of forestry Research and Education. March 2011. . (Accessed 8 May 2014)

Van der Lugt, pVan den Dobbbelsteen, Janssen, J. An Environmental, Economic and Practical Assessment of Bamboo as a Building Material for Supporting Structures.

(Accessed May 8, 2014).%20bamboo%20article%20in%20press.pdf 18 February 2005.

Sanjay, Singh. Productivity Enhancement and Creation of Value Addition of Bamboos. (Institute of Forest Productivity: Indiana council of forestry Research and Education, 2011), 33

Sanjay, Singh. Productivity Enhancement and Creation of Value Addition of Bamboos, 33

3 Ibid, 34

Janssen,Van der Lugt, Van den Dobbbelsteen, An Environmental, Economic and Practical Assessment of Bamboo as a Building Material for Supporting Structure, (2005), 7,%20bamboo%20article%20in%20press.pdf (Accessed May 8, 2014).

Sanjay, Singh. Productivity Enhancement and Creation of Value Addition of Bamboos, 29

7 Ibid, 33

8 Ibid, 33

9 Ibid, 28