‘With a serious housing shortage but no shortage of plastic bottles littering the streets, the Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) – an NGO based in Nigeria – decided to build an incredible two-bedroom bungalow entirely out of plastic bottles. Although many in Kaduna were dubious when the project began construction, the complete home is bullet- and fire-proof, earthquake resistant, and maintains a comfortable interior temperature of 18 degree Celsius year-round’ says Tafline Laylin.
The bottles, packed with sand, are placed on their side, one on top of the other and bound together with mud. Each house – with one bedroom, living room, bathroom, toilet and kitchen – uses an estimated 7,800 plastic bottles. Yahaya Ahmed of Nigeria’s DARE, estimates that a bottle house will cost one third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost. It is also more durable. “Compacted sand inside a bottle is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks,” he says. “We are even intending to build a three-storey building.”
The project is also hoping to help to remove children who do not go to school from their life on the streets. “I don’t want to be a beggar, I want to work and get paid – that is why I am doing this job,” says 15-year-old Shehu Usman, who is working on the building site. “When I grow old I want to build myself a house with bottles,” he says. After the 25 houses have been completed, the next construction project for DARE will be a school, which street children like Shehu will be able to attend.