COCO operates in rural areas in East Africa. Working in rural areas presents a diverse array of challenges. COCO listens to the needs of the communities that we work so that the work benefits them in the best way possible, and learn from what they tell us to benefit other communities in the future.
One of the problems encountered was the transporting materials to remote sites for construction. This was a particularly pressing concern at the Maasai Academy; an area in which leopards and buffalo are far more common than suppliers of bricks, mortar and cement!
As a result of this, for the construction of a school kitchen some innovation was necessary. Rather than paying hefty costs to transport materials to the school, the community used local materials for the construction.
Disused maize sacks were sewn into three chambers, with the outer two being filled with rocks and dirt. Sewing in such a way meant that the makeshift bricks interlocked together to build a secure structure.
Upon completion of the walls the whole thing was plastered, and no one would know what lay underneath! The entire cost of constructing the walls was 18,400 Kenyan Shillings, which is approximately £128.
The technique was so successful that coordinators of another Kenyan School for Life, Mercy Primary School, traveled to Olorte to perfect the skills so that they could be used for construction at Mercy Primary!
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