27-Year-Old Activist Is Building Disaster-Proof Plastic Bottle Homes For Refugees In Algeria
By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory
While there are numerous ways one can contribute to society and make the world a better place, action taken by 27-year-old Tateh Lehbib Breica stands apart from the rest. This is because the Sahrawi refugee has taken it upon himself to construct disaster-resistant homes using discarded plastic bottles. Not only can the homes be built for an affordable price, they are made for harsh desert conditions and can last for years.
UNCHR reports that Tindouf, Algeria, is not an easy place to live, for temperatures regularly spike to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, and sandstorms can wreak havoc on refuge structures. But because people have been fleeing to the area to escape violence in the Western Sahara War for over 40 years, a housing solution was desperately needed. It’s because of this Breica decided to engineer homes that can survive harsh climates and are disaster-proof.
The 27-year-old has a master’s degree in energy efficiency and participated in a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) scholarship program. His first intention was to construct a rooftop garden where he and others could grow seedlings in the bottles. However, the circular shape of the energy-efficient home he was planning posed too much challenge to that idea. After brainstorming and recalling a documentary he watched on building structures out of plastic water bottles, he was struck with a new idea.
Inhabitat relays that the plastic bottle homes can withstand storms better than adobe, mud brick or tent homes. Additionally, they are water resistant — a fact which is essential, considering heavy rains demolished thousands of homes in 2015. The homes have thick walls and due to their circular shape, are resistant against sandstorms.
The first plastic bottle home Breica constructed was for his grandmother, who was hurt while being carried to a community center to stay safe during a sandstorm. With the aid of UNHCR, the activist has been able to build 25 homes. Most importantly, he plans to construct many more.
For his work, he has earned the nickname Crazy with Bottles. He says, “People still see me as the guy obsessed with recycling bottles and building unusual houses.” He has accepted this fact, as his design is earning awards and saving lives.
Via UNCHR (Pictures can be found at this link or at Inhabitat)
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here