Acording to the UN there are over 100 million homeless people all over the world. But while the housing crisis persists, the people of northern Nigeria have devised a way to address it by building eco-friendly homes with mud and plastic bottles.
The Kaduna-based company, Developmental Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) is taking our old plastic bottles – and we’ve got a LOT of them – and turning them into homes.
DARE constructed these homes from thousands of recycled plastic bottles filled with sand, cement, and mud – which form a wall that is 20 times stronger than brick walls, fireproof, and bulletproof.
The C.E.O of DARE, Yahaya Ahmed, co-founded the non-governmental organisation with the aim to promote the use of renewable energy resources.
The houses are also fitted with energy saving stoves urine filtration fertilization systems and purification tanks – which are all as great for the environment as they sound.
Ahmed’s environmental projects seek to aid Nigeria’s issues with deforestation and pollution, in addition to other forms of environmental degradation.
The energy efficient kitchen stoves were recently made available for purchase in Kaduna and plans are in the works for nationwide availability.
DARE is currently helping young people in Kaduna get started on an eco-friendly path by teaching them to assemble the stoves. Additionally, the organisation is training local masons in the bottle building technique with the help of Andreas Froesse, the founder of Eco-Tec Soluciones Ambientales.
Currently, Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 16 million. Lagos accounts for 30 percent of this deficit and more than 14 percent of Nigerians are homeless. The plastic bottle homes cost one-third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost.
To build a two bedroom bottle house, workers are required to fill 14,000 plastic bottles with sand and hold them together using cement and mud. The combination of cement with mud forms a solid wall which is stronger than the commonly used cinder blocks. The compacted sand, which is poured into the bottles is also 20 times stronger than brick.
After construction with different recycled bottles, these homes become colourful, fire proof, bullet proof, and earthquake resistant plastic residences and maintain an interior temperature of about 64 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, which ideally suits Nigeria’s hot climate.
However, these plastic homes cannot be built higher than three stories due to the weight of the sand –filled bottles used in constructing them.