Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 10:03 AM EDT

Democratic Resettlement Community in Namibia Uses Sand-Filled Bottles For Construction

Apr 25, 2019 08:51 AM EDT

sand-filled bottles
(Photo : AfricaFeeds TV)
Sand-Filled Plastic Bottles Used in Construction (Screenshot taken from video "Plastic Bottle House in Africa")

For places like Swakopmund, building materials could be a challenge to come by. While this is true, the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) found a way to provide proper structures including a workshop, an arts and craft room, a restaurant, and sleeping rooms for the people.

Around 300 people, including children, have been gathering at the Dantago Arts and Crafts Center. These are the same people who benefit from the soup kitchen and exhibit their crafts for selling in the center.

Part of the structure has already been completed and is now being frequented as a tourist attraction whether by tourists or by the locals. Children take part by filling bottles with sand, collecting bottles, and carrying the sand-filled plastic bottles to the center. These are then handed over to the older members of the group that are in charge the securing the sand-fill bottles with cement, forming walls.

The owner, Katrina Garises, has started with this concept in 2016 where she conceptualized a trial toilet. The construction of the toilet was done by the owner's son, Reinhard Garises. With the help of his friends,

Reinhard was able to construct his mother's concept using the same innovative construction material, sand-field reused plastic bottles.

Katrina explains that the method of construction is one affordable way to build a structure that can withstand the wind and cold. She added that the building materials can even save lives in case of fire because the sand helps to put out the flames. Garises added that it is also one way to keep the area clean. Some of the bottles used for the structure were picked up from the ground as thrown away by other people.

One side of the center where the arts and crafts materials are stored has already been completed. 

Garises is thankful that members of the community bring bottles to use as well as some companies that are eager to donate. Even if a lot of bottles are needed to complete the project, Garises is optimistic that the tourists visiting the vicinity would appreciate what they see and would sometimes leave the bottles that they have used so that the center could use it. 

The art center also serves as a soup kitchen that would feed about 200 children from the area every morning and every afternoon. The center has taken initiative as well to teach the children some techniques in arts and crafts after they are done with school for the day.

Some women are in the center making arts and crafts products which they sell to the tourists who are visiting the settlement. It is also where the community would turn to when they are in need of counseling and for their religious needs.

Garises also pointed out that even if she is in the tourism business in Swakopmund, she also has a goal to uplift the living standard in the community. The center owner added that the locals have a lot of talent and just need a little guidance.

Garises called for donations such as cement for construction and food for the 200 children that depend on the soup kitchen for their daily needs.

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