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Build Up to Consolidate Infrastructure Services

Use multi-story container apartment units to create space and provide water, sanitation and energy infrastructure in manageable chunks

Photo of Freda Yawson
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

In May 2014, Accra experienced one of the worst floods in national history, killing hundreds and destroying property. Some of the reasons being slums built in water passage ways, refuse clogged drainage and poor building structures. One of the solutions may be to declutter slums and create space by consolidating housing with infrastructure. This idea is about process and integrates many existing ideas into one communal space.

Many slum houses are already made from containers, roofing sheet metal and other wooden containers, haphazardly placed with illegal connections to electricity, water and no drainage. What if communities began building up with two story container apartment units for say 6 families each, from the outskirts of slums working their way in. As you construct new units, you demolish old structures to reduce the footprint of buildings and create space. Additionally by creating sanitation infrastructure for each apartment unit, you can consolidate infrastructure services. Each unit comes with a water tank/rain storage system, solar energy charging stations, a biofill septic tank and community waste collection station, service providers can also service to community members in an organized way.

WHO BENEFITS?

1. Community dwellers - improved housing, access to portable infrastructure
2. Government - as more community apartment units are built, poorly constructed structures can be destroyed. This can be done gradually while providing people with improved services for small fees

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

This idea integrates many existing solutions focusing on how it they can be brought together
1. Sanitation - Many community sanitation solutions exist. 2 organizations, Clean Toilet in Kumasi and Biofill in Accra provide family sized sanitation solutions that would be perfect for a small community structure.
2. Location - many slum areas are poorly equipped for flooding as result of climate change, by starting these apartments on the outskirts of slum areas, builders/govt can build with better standards with safer building methods
3. Services - encouraging entrepreneurship within slum communities. Building these units creates a need for services which community dwellers can provide each other e.g waste collection, construction. Currently many individual waste collectors service various neighborhoods in Accra with tricycles and buggies. Creating these units allows willing entrepreneurs to service these apartment units where bigger waste collection companies can not provide

This idea was inspired by existing housing units in amsterdam (picture above)

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am part of an organization called Innovate Ghana - an innovation competition for tertiary level students meant to help them create solutions to national problems. This year students came up with solutions for water and sanitation many of which can be implemented in this scenario.

Inspired by (1)

Re-cycled housing

2 comments

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Photo of darpan patil
Team

A great idea to build a efficient infrastructure at a urban slums however in the developing countries crowd living in slums are lacking sufficient funds to build infrastructure at a large scale nevertheless funding from the government to build infrastructure will be useful.

Photo of Freda Yawson
Team

I totally agree Darpan, most communities obviously cannot afford to build a structure at once however i think there might be room for creative financing options. For instance if a private entity is willing to front a family unit, residents can pay over time as they do through other mobile services. What i've seen with other services provided in our country is that if you offer it in small manageable monthly payments, they will subscribe. More thought required though, thank you!