Public Infrastructure Reconstruction
The infrastructure of a nation is the beating heart of economic security for its citizens. Often the first casualties of conflict are the roads, bridges, electrical grids and water pipes that help people live their lives. Our historical focus on shelter has granted SFL with great capacity for construction, which has been expanded and refined over the years to form a new core competency for us, infrastructure reconstruction. Reconstruction and renovation of community infrastructure enables individuals and communities to connect with and develop sustainable local, regional and national markets.
For two decades, our team has been rebuilding infrastructure in remote areas of the world, where a quality road can make the difference between a farmer getting their crop to market or spoiled in the field. Reliable electricity can mean needed medicine and food being kept, or discarded. And potable water delivery is the defining line between a positive health outcome or illness. At SFL, we believe shelter means more than just a roof and four walls, it is a linchpin of a stable society.
The reconstruction of roads is vital for economic recovery and social sustainability. SFL’s road projects are aimed at connecting remote, primarily agricultural communities, with their regional and national markets. SFL’s roads projects provide immediate short-term employment for local laborers with a long-term goal of providing families and communities with a wealth of opportunities to participate in the surrounding markets and improve their livelihoods.
Throughout our various projects, our team has constructed hundreds of kilometers of roads, including farm-to-market and feeder roads. We have developed effective methods of rural road rehabilitation and construction which combines unskilled labor with heavy machinery. This method—proven in recent projects—is low cost, engages and unifies communities, and builds capacity for local business and village authorities.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
After the air we breathe, clean water is the most critical of all human needs. Our team works with remote and conflict effected communities to develop solutions that will increase the supply and cleanliness of water. Through a variety of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) initiatives, each shaped by local context and need, we have successfully implemented projects that distribute emergency water, and construct water wells, pipelines, community hand pumps, and rainwater collection systems.
In addition, we also work to address the inadequate sanitation systems experienced by many around the world by constructing latrines and implementing refuse collection and educational programs. These activities are complemented by community health and hygiene training which is offered to local community members and local staff.
Irrigation and Flood Protection Services
Access to water is an imperative component of profitable and resilient farming. We work with farming communities to improve irrigation and increase crop yields by constructing comprehensive irrigation systems, including channels, aqueducts, reservoirs, pipelines, spray and pivot irrigation, gabion and other protective walls, terracing, and tree planting.
These types of interventions not only improve access to water for irrigation, but are also essential in reducing flood risk and soil erosion to communities and farmland. To ensure the sustainability of these projects, we also establish and develop water management committees to oversee the efficiency and resilience of irrigation practices.
Storage and Post-Harvest Handling Facilities
Shortcomings in post-harvest infrastructure are often critical factors in determining how much food is lost in the supply chain. A lack of storage or processing equipment can often lead to the unnecessary loss of produce, and in turn, the loss of income. We work with farming communities to design, build and deliver agricultural storage and post-harvest handling facilities.
These structures are designed to be appropriate to the local context, incorporating cultural concerns and geographic needs such as ventilation and moisture control, and utilizing locally sourced materials and skilled labor. We also ensure our designs incorporate structural and non-structural disaster risk reduction elements to ensure sustainability. By these means, post-harvest loss can be significantly decreased and storage periods increased, allowing farmers to gain better prices for their products and increase their incomes.