(“Kazi na bobo” means “work with bottles” in Swahili)
The"bobo building” is a community shop designed for Kazi Na Sala (KnS) - a women’s group in Msitu wa tempo, Northern Tanzania. This project was part of the "groundwork program” of C-re-aid, a Tanzanian NGO that conducts architectural intervention under the aim of poverty alleviation. By closely working with local organization, C-re-aid select the beneficiary community which is vulnerable by material conditions each year and recruit international students of building sciences to realize different projects. This project was carried out by two students, Cony Chang (Taiwan) and Veronique Vincent Genod (France), they were responsible for fundraise for the budget and the whole building process.
Msitu Wa Tembo is a small rural community that relies on agriculture and is located in the Manyara Region, about 40 km from Moshi. It was established about 70 years ago when people from all over Tanzania moved to this area. Agricultural immigrants from large populated areas in Tanzania moved here in order to look for livelihoods opportunities.
The most traditional way of building in Msitu wa Tembo is with mud bricks. However, like most of the local residents, the women preferred to build with fired bricks, as they are more durable and increase the perceived status of the occupants, as it means they can afford a “modern” way of building.
In order to use local materials for this project, the students started thinking about reusing the soil dug from the ground. In order to try another solution for using this soil that wasn’t adobe bricks, they researched several options including sand bags and plastic bottles filled with sand. This last option attracted them because of its ecological way of building with garbage (plastic bottles). Another interesting point of this technique is to establish a construction process in witch future users can be involved actively in the construction by filling the plastic bottles. For them, it was a way to include the women from Kazi Na Sala in the realization of their future shop.
This building technique, associated to a plaster finishing, creates really strong and compact walls (around 30cm, the length of 1.5L bottles), allows the interior space to stay at a very cool and comfortable temperature in such a hot region. The lifted ground protect the indoor space from flood due to changing climate with unpredictable rain.