Houses built from plastic bottles in Maasai land

In the area of Oloolaimutia in Maasai land, waste management is an every day problem. There are no bins on the street, no garbage collection, no waste shipment at all. Since there’s no place to collect the trash, locals and tourists often just throw it away on the street. This – together with the fact that tap water is non drinkable – means walking around in the village next to the national park piles of plastic bottles are everywhere.

In order to solve this problem, our kenyan partner organization, Marafiki started building houses from these discarded bottles. The locals collect the bottles that are in working condition, fill them with sand from the nearby stream and than bring them to the Marafiki camp, where they receive a small payment for each bottle. Women in particular are enthusiastic about collecting these bottles, since it’s an opportunity for them to earn some money for their families. 

After collection, the sand-filled bottles are placed as “bricks” between two layers mesh wire, than the gaps are filled with cement. Setting up electricity, plumbing, plaster and soon the house is standing! Looking at it, there’s no way to tell it was built from discarded bottles, that were thrown away as “trash”!

It was fascinating to see that with a little creativity so much can be solved and that it is possible to grasp and start solving local problems at different points at the same time by such a simple yet brilliant idea. After all, this way the village becomes cleaner, the locals can find some work and earn some money while improving the area!

This Maasai community is the main focus of our projects. You’ll hear more about the bottle houses and the cleaning of the village since we have new plans with this great construction technique!

Foundation of a new house

The “bricks”

Building of the walls

The gaps are filled with cements.

After all this the plumbing and the electrical system is set up.

Last but not least comes the plaster.

At first sight noone would think that this house was buildt from plastic bottles thrown away as “trash”.