Bibi Glory (Grandmother Glory) is an elderly Maasai lady who lives in appalling conditions. Her very small house, where she sleeps alongside three grandchildren (right), is unsuitable beyond belief. Made from mud and wood, and in some parts cardboard, it is extremely close to collapse, and does not protect her or her grandchildren from theelements. When the weather is bad, the children are forced to sleep in neighbours’ houses as it is too unsafe for them.
Her housing conditions often affect the family’s wellbeing. Bibi and the children suffer frequently from Malaria, as her house cannot keep mosquitos out. They have no access to hygiene facilities, leaving them exposed to multiple diseases and infections associated with poor sanitation. Bibi has no income whatsoever. She relies on neighbours to supply her family with minimal amounts of food when they can.
The House That Zac Built proposes to provide this family with a purpose built two roomed house, Solar Energy, a ‘Blair toilet’ and a small business to provide economic stability.
The house will be built by local builders and tradesmen. All materials will be sourced locally, contributing to the local economy and providing jobs for local people at the same time. Alongside the builders will be five apprentices, between the ages of 15-20, who have slept on the streets for the past five years or more. The idea behind this is to provide these children with an opportunity to gain valuable skills. In the future, these skills will allow the children to secure employment and a steady income, therefore ultimately removing them from poverty and street life.
A house with Solar Energy will provide Bibi and her family with long term security, it will benefit their health, it will mean the day doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down, and it will give the children somewhere to study at night time with clean light.
Around 80% of Tanzanian citizens currently use candles and kerosene for light. Both of these light sources can cause fires, which injure and even kill people every year. They are also polluting and bad for people’s heath. Solar energy is renewable; the sun is a constant source of power, so solar energy is also environmentally friendly.
A small business will provide her with enough money to cover food, health and education costs. After assessing the area in which Bibi lives, we noticed that there wasn’t really any possibility of building a third room for rental to generate an income. We decided that building her a small shelter, where she can keep chickens, would be relatively easy for her and the family to manage and after four to six months, by selling the eggs to neighbours, she would generate a good income.
A ‘Blair Toilet’ otherwise known as a VIP latrine, is a clever design invented in the 1970s. Built with a circular entry, the toilet traps the flow of air, pushes it down into the pit, and then out through a pipe in the roof. This constant airflow removes smells from the toilet, but more importantly, flies and mosquitos. Ultimately reducing the spread of disease and benefitting the families overall wellbeing.
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