Nigerians Try To Solve Housing And Trash Issues With An Innovative Method

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. In Nigeria, they’ve become incredibly creative in their endeavors to provide more affordable homes in the highly populated country.

As one of the most populated African countries, Nigerians average monthly income is approximately $825 per month (339,000 NGN). Home prices are usually in the $45,000 range and are costly to build.

Not only is housing costly for most, but Nigeria also faces a trash and recycling issue, producing 32 million tons per year, 2.5 million tons of which consists of plastic. Trash litters the streets in some areas.

With the population estimated to double by 2050 — currently around 201 million people — a new trash solution is imperative as the country grows.

Citizens of the country have gotten amazingly resourceful when it comes to cleaning up their environment and keeping more money in their pockets.

According to Environmental engineer Maryann Atseyinku, the founder of Community Waste and Recycling, “Almost any country in the world has problems with waste management, so Nigeria is not a particularly peculiar case. The thing is the fundamental problem we have is because of the logistics that’s in the same. Waste management is pretty expensive.”

Rural Nigerians have come up with a way to not only reduce their cost of building homes by nearly 70%, but they’ve also figured out how to clean up their environment of trash, too.

They’ve discovered that by collecting trash from the streets and rubbish dumps, they gathered more than enough plastic bottles to begin a new type of housing construction.

In a more traditional way of building with mud, plastic bottles are filled and packed with sand, laid on top of each other, and bound together with mud. Called “Bottle Brick Technology,” the project employs out-of-school or jobless youth, having them fill bottles with sand. String is latticed on the outside before more mud is packed in, just like an adobe house created by natives in New Mexico.

The houses are 18 times more durable, Superman-like in their ability to withstand weather, earthquakes, and even a speeding bullet.

Costing about a third of traditional housing, the bottle-brick houses provide more than adequate shelter while also providing a long-term solution to the devastating trash situation as around 14,000 bottles go into the making of one home.

Project heads are appealing to the Nigerian government in hopes of gaining financial backing to expand their enterprise.


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