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Green Homes for Female headed households in Uganda

Empowering marginalized women in rural communities of Uganda through home ownership.

Photo of Natukunda Vastina
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

In Uganda right now, we are in a housing crisis and yet we have got population growth of 34 million people (NHPC 2014). We project to reach a population of 45 million people in 2020 and 2014; data shows that we have 7.7 million households in this country. It is something all stakeholders in the property market need to take note of and provide housing that is affordable for these people. Secondly, the supply of stock is not keeping up with the demand because we have a housing deficit of 1.6 million units, 1.29 million of these units are in the rural areas and 211,000 of these are in our urban centres. We have a requirement for 200,000 units every year of which 135,000 are in the rural areas and 65,000 in urban areas. Of the existing stock which is about one million permanent housing units, 900,000 of these are substandard and need to either be demolished, renovated or upgraded. Of these 900,000 substandard housing units, 70% of these housing units that need to either be demolished, renovated or demolished belong to female headed households. We are working to help marginalised women from low-income communities in Uganda to become homeowners by providing them with self-empowerment programme to help them to renovate or build their own houses. We also help them with formalizing ownership of the land, and provide building materials and specialist skills such as masonry and carpentry. Women and their families are expected to contribute the necessary manual labor to the building work on their own houses. We believe that becoming a homeowner improves women’s social status, educational and health outcomes of their children and helps them out of poverty. We ensure that the benefit is long term. Homes cannot be mortgaged or sold for a minimum period of 15 years after construction.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are marginalized women with low income in rural communities of Uganda.

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

The uniqueness of our idea is that we involve our beneficiaries to take part in building work and providing locally available building materials such as wood, bricks, stone, plastic wastes and sand in order to reduce the monetary costs of building and create a sense of ownership among women. In building our floors, we use plastic wastes. We gather plastic wastes and mix them with heated bitumen and coating the mixture over stones to make the best plastic modified asphalt concrete for flooring. Our floors are made by compressing different layers of plastic modified asphalt concrete tightly down and sealing it off to make it waterproof using a layer of oil. This method helps to reduce the use of cement which requires significant energy to produce and is responsible for 5% of global carbon emissions. Our method requires less energy and is structurally strong, waterproof, and abrasion resistant. We also provide women with solar energy at low cost and on credit payable in 18 months.

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)

Native Green Homes is a non-profit social enterprise that works to assist low income households to reach the dream of home ownership through education and construction of high performance homes, particularly by self-help family teams. Native Green Homes conducts demonstration projects and programs to assist low income earners in rural communities, while providing technical assistance and educational house plans illustrating methods currently in use.

Expertise in sector

  • 1-2 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

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

I grew up in poverty and in poorly constructed grass thatched house, often sleeping to forget the misery of hunger. I, my mother, my sister and the four male siblings used to share one room and this used to embarrass me especially when I could be in my menstrual periods and to pad myself was also a problem. It was until I visited Ghana that I found women teaming up to build their homes and when I came back I decided to begin Native Green Homes to help women that goes through similar experience.

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

In Uganda, Planet is impacted by ever increasing plastic garbage. Plastic waste disposal is on the increase. It is estimated that 600 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in Uganda daily. About 51% of the total garbage is left uncollected and the effect is commonly seen around the country and has started causing several problems. These plastic wastes block drainage systems, causing floods, chokes animals that eats them and blocks germination and prevent rainwater absorption in the fields. The health and education of children influence prosperity in Uganda.However, most of the homes in Uganda are health hazards and do not support children's education. For example approximately 90% of homes have poor lighting and seven out of every ten households have floors made of earth, sand or cow dung with 80.6 rural households living in this condition compared with only 18.5% of urban households.(UBOS 2012). So helping people to come out of this situation can help to break the life cycle of poverty.

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

We work with strategic partnerships and collaborations to implement our project activities and these include; 1. Financial institutions for financing our housing activities through offering us friendly housing loans. 2. Private hardware shops who supply us with building materials sometimes on credit and payable in friendly terms. 3. Policy makers for advocating for better housing and gender friendly policies. 4. Donors who finance our projects. 5. Local village councils, religious institutions and media platforms for spreading the gospel of our organizations services to the community. 6. Marginalized women in rural communities who are our beneficiaries.

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

We have greater strength in rural communities which include; the housing demand of 200,000 units every year of which 135,000 are in the rural areas without anyone working to satisfy it.There is cheap and skilled labor force willing to work, improving structured transport network, sufficient availability of the local building materials and natural resources and presence of financial institutions to offer housing credit facilities are some of our biggest strength and reasons why we must succeed.

Geographic Focus

Both urban and rural communities of Uganda.

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

36 Months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)


A document describing organisation's background,context,key features, impact(social and environmental) and organisation's sustainability.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Morgan C

This is a wonderful and innovative idea. I love that it mixes a need for housing with responsible use of recycled materials and help for the environment. How are you acquiring the recycled plastics? Do you collect them yourself or with the help of volunteers? I am wondering how this project will be able to scale to reach more women.

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