Rwandans are set to benefit from low cost-housing made out of a new construction technology “Earthbag”, that is currently used in different countries in Asia, USA and Europe.
Earthbag construction (building with polypropylene bags usually filled with earthen materials) is a versatile, easy-to-master, low-impact, and highly durable form of building, suitable for structures from houses to root cellars.
Affordable Human Needs, an American-based firm with African Headquarters in Rwanda, is leading the project with the main focus of facilitating Rwandan low-income earners to own their own homes.
This week, the first ever built Earthbag houses will be officially be inaugurated in Gatwe village Gigaragara cell located in Shyorongi sector, Rurindo district in Northern Province. The houses will be freely handed over to the two needy families.
According to James Ngarambe the Affordable Human Needs Country Director, the new technology is affordable and will be taken to the entire country.
“Majority of our population cannot afford to construct expensive homes and that’s why we came up with the solution to help Rwandans own their own homes affordably,” He said adding “We started with Northern provide and our target is to reach all sectors in the country,” Ngarambe said.
Earthbag buildings are famous for their ability to endure fire, flood, wind, earthquake and vermin and have been successfully used in disaster-prone zones all over the World. This technology makes minimal use of cement, concrete, steel, timber meaning it doesn’t deplete the scarce natural resources.
This technology is basically a wall system with structures composed primarily of ordinary soil found at the construction site. The Soil is stuffed inside polypropylene bags which are then staggered like masonry and solidly tamped; barbed wire laid between the layers of bags serves as cement.
According to Joyce Kung the founder and Chief Executive officer of Affordable Human Needs, the organization was inspired by the Country’s good governance and stability adding that they’re focusing on various sectors with the aim of providing solutions to human basic needs.
This kind of technology has also been used before in Nepal, the biggest earthquake zone in the World.
“Our mission is to provide affordable human needs to Rwandans. We have started with affordable housing and water purification technology that provides clean waters and we hope to target other areas in the Country,” she said.
She mentioned that, plans are underway to construct the African Headquarters in Rwanda.
Last year during the Private Sector Federation’s Golden Business Forum in Kigali, Affordable Human Needs (AHN) President Dr. Walter Lillo and the team of investors from Taiwan pledged to invest $13Million in Rwanda targeting different sectors.
The official launch of the technology is set on Thursday and will be attended by government officials, potential investors as well as the beneficiaries.