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Eco Smart Shelter - High quality affordable shelter for the marginalized communities in Uganda.

Construct environmentally friendly high quality affordable shelter among the marginalized people in Uganda using recycled plastic bottles.

Photo of Eco Smart Shelter
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Plastic waste disposal is on the increase. It is estimated that 600 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in Uganda daily. Kampala city alone accounts for the vast chunk of plastic waste, which is littered all over the city and clogging sewage systems, according to the National Environment Management Authority. About 51% of the plastic garbage in the city is left uncollected and ends up in drainage channels, wetlands, natural water courses, manholes, undeveloped plots and on the roadside. In the rural areas, it is a sad story; plastic garbage in most cases left to decompose on its own. Plastic takes 450 year to decompose completely yet when you move around most homesteads are littered with plastics including water and soda bottles and other forms of plastic. It must be noted that plastic waste endangers human life, animals and the environment, if it is not well controlled and disposed of in a proper manner.

Its from this background that Eco Smart Shelter is based to collect the plastic bottles and reuse them by constructing high quality affordable houses for the poor in Eastern and Northern Uganda.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are marginalized families in Northern Uganda that was ravaged by war for over 20 years and Eastern Uganda that has high poverty levels in Uganda. We organize the poor into groups and employ them to collect PET bottles which we use in the construction of high quality affordable houses for them. Each house costs us 6,000,000 Uganda shillings which the families are supposed to pay back within a period of 6 years with just an interest of 2% to enable our company continue supporting other poor families in need. We also support these families to engage into farming so that they can generate income and be able to pay back. We give them farm inputs, and link them to better markets. We also organize them into savings groups where every month, they contribute 50,000 Uganda shillings and all the money is given to one person in order to start a business. We also train them in financial literacy and record keeping to enable them track records and spend wisely.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

When you make a clay brick, the time and energy used right from mixing the clay to baking it in the kiln and taking into account the firewood used for that, you will see that the bottle brick is far more energy-efficient. Use of plastic bottles technology also reduces the carbon emission that happens during the baking of an ordinary brick . The heat generation from cement factories can also be reduced as this technology uses only five percent cement. The foundation for the entire construction is obtained from building waste and so the mountains from which granite is blasted out can be saved too. PET Bottle can last as long as 300 years. The house also features a green roof of sod and turf. Such roofs not only have aesthetic appeal, but tend to insulate the house better than conventional roofs, lowering heating and cooling costs and are also cheaper than conventional roofs.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Eco Smart Shelter is a social enterprise that works to empower marginalized communities in Uganda through construction of high quality affordable houses for the poor using recycled PET plastic bottles as a way of improving their health, livelihoods and conserve the environment.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

As a young man, we used to stay in a temporary house that was roofed by grass, every time it would rain, it would be threatened to be swept away by floods. At 20 years old, i worked as a construction helper and i was able to earn some money that helped me build a permanent home for my family. In 2015, i attended a training on recycling plastics to construct high quality affordable houses for the poor hence the formation of Eco Smart Shelter to help families like ours get access to such shelter.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

1. Planet. It is estimated that 600 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in Uganda daily. Kampala city alone accounts for the vast chunk of plastic waste, which is littered all over the city. About 51% of the plastic garbage in the city is left uncollected and ends up in drainage channels, wetlands, natural water courses, manholes, undeveloped plots and on the roadside. In the rural areas, it is a sad story; plastic garbage in most cases is left to decompose on its own.

2. Prosperity. The proportion of the total number of poor people who live in the Northern and Eastern regions increased between 2006 and 2016, from 68% to 84%. Also, households in Uganda’s Northern and Eastern regions have much lower levels of human capital, fewer assets, and more limited access to services and infrastructure. For example about 29% of households in Northern Uganda do not use any type of toilet facility and this is far higher than corresponding figures for Eastern region at 8%.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We shall work with different stakeholders including Cement companies to help us set up the structure, plastic recycling companies to help us have enough bottles to work on our project. We shall also work with government programs like (NUSAF 3) to reach out to the vulnerable people in the northern region.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Uganda has a big number of poor households that will be willing to participate in our project from collecting plastic bottles, sorting them and packing them with sand. We have a huge number of unemployed youth who will be trained on how to construct houses with plastic bottles and employed to do it on our behalf for the families without homes.

Geographic Focus

This idea will target Northern and Eastern parts Uganda

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

24

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Photo of Our Workshop
Team

Hey there...
i have a bit of an issue with eco-bricking, because in a way it's just compressing the shit into the walls... to me it feels a bit like sweeping dust under the carpet... not the same as cleaning the room... But I do not know!!!
Plastic is useable in many many ways however... I would love to share these other ways to use plastic 'waste' with you...
please see Our Workshop: Making Togetherness - the proposal we have entered from Cape Town South Africa.
I have worked in a number of African cities with amazing local craftspeople from each, and there is a lot of potential for making many many things!!!, while at the same time celebrating the artists we have in Africa - and increasing artists' innovation and design capacity...

perhaps you have a facebook page??

many thanks,
Heath Nash 

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