Bamboo scaffolding industry complains to CE, claims lack of support

Representatives from the bamboo scaffolding industry delivered a letter yesterday morning to the Chief Executive (CE), complaining of a lack of support for their traditional activity.

According to the industry representatives, back in 2014, they were allowed to lease a land plot at Taipa’s Zone E2 area to store bamboo materials and train professionals in this sector.

Recently, they claim to have received a notice from the Land and Urban Construction Bureau notifying them that the lease would not be renewed and ordering them to vacate the site within 60 days.

Industry representatives say there are no options for them and they need a relatively large space to store and dry the bamboo before it can be used for the scaffolding in construction projects or to build temporary venues such as those used for hosting traditional celebrations.

In the letter to the CE, they call on the government to continue renting them the same land or offer some other alternative under similar conditions.

The representatives noted that, besides the livelihood of all the workers, the survival of this historic profession is also at stake.

The craft of bamboo scaffolding is one of the Chinese “sam hong” (three industries of construction works, namely plastering, woodwork, and bamboo scaffolding), and forms part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Macau.

The craft is used in the construction of buildings and the setting up of work platforms for renovations and repairs, and is an essential part of traditional construction works.

The traditional materials are tied in a grid panel with nylon strips, canvas, and nylon mesh.

Due to the flexibility of the craft, several types of bamboo scaffolding have been widely used in Macau.

In recent years, the construction of bamboo pavilions and art-like structures using the same techniques and materials has been revived by the students and professors of Architecture at the University of Saint Joseph in Macau.

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