A UN report shows that there are over 100 million homeless people all over the world, including in the developed economies. The US alone, accounts for over 3.4 million. In Nigeria, the housing crisis is so bad that it would take nearly 16 million housing units to address the shortage. More than 14 percent of Nigerians are homeless and Lagos accounts for 30 percent of this deficit. But what if there was a way to address this challenging housing crisis by spending just one-third of the projected cost?
Two NGOs, Africa Community Trust, based in London and Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), based in Kaduna state in Northern Nigeria have encouraged locals to start building eco-friendly homes with plastic bottles, Yes! You heard right – Plastic bottles and mud! A plastic bottle home will cost just one-third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost.
To create a two-bedroom bottle house, plastic bottles are filled with sand and then held together using mud and cement. This forms a solid bullet-proof and fire-proof wall that is stronger than cinder blocks and can withstand an earthquake, Amazing! These houses maintain very good temperatures, about 64 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, which is perfect for Nigeria’s hot climate. The best part is that, while building homes with plastic bottles, this technique addresses the twin problems – homelessness issue and environmental pollution because not only will there be less plastic in landfills, the house is designed to produce zero carbon emissions.
The sad part may be that you do not dream of building a skyscraper with this technique because the highest it can go is three-storey, due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.
An estimated 14,000 bottles can complete a very spacious two-bedroom apartment. So it will be good news, considering the fact that Nigeria disposes about three million bottles everyday. If the Federal Government picks this up and invest further in it, with aggressive and well structured planning, homelessness may be a thing of the past in no time.
See photos and video below: