Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Smart kid in Algeria

One week ago, the BBC Arabic interviewed this young man. He's grew up in a refugee camp, I think in Algeria. But he managed to go to college, and he learned engineering.

When he finished his degree, he came up with the idea of building houses of plastic bottles filled with dirt. Apparently, it keeps the houses at a better temperature, and more protected from rain and wind, then the regular dirt houses in the camp.

Here you see them gathering up filled bottles:

And here you see the beginnings of a wall, with the circular house layout beyond:

He figured out that the plastic helps reinforce the dirt. I guess it makes it sturdier than if it's just dirt. And they also must patch the crevices between each bottle with more dirt. Yes, you can see in the following photo that they are patching up the wall of brimful plastic bottles, while bringing bags of more bottles.

Apparently, they're even able to hook these homes up with air conditioning and electricity! Each home is 400 meters squared - just a single room. And it costs 1000 Euros per building - that sounds kind of expensive for discarded plastic bottles and dirt.

I might have heard some of this wrong, but i think he said you need 6000 bottles per house. All the material can be collected in the camps.

In the future, he wants to expand to building complete homes with multiple rooms, like a kitchen in one area.

They have not experienced floods yet, but these plastic-dirt houses are supposed to withstand them better than purely dirt homes.

"This was a dream of mine," says the young man. "I've very happy."

The first house he built was for his grandmother living in the refugee camp. She died 10 days before the interview :(

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