“Me and my family had to endure high temperatures, rain and sandstorms that would sometimes take the roof off,” says Tateh Lehbib. This Refugee Builds Homes Out Of Recycled Plastic Bottles
In a refugee camp in Algeria, one man is building houses out of recycled plastic bottles. Tateh Lehbib Barika is no ordinary engineer. According to the World Habitat Organisation, he was born in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Algeria that are home to thousands of refugees displaced by the conflict in Western Sahara.
“I was born in a sun-dried brick house,” he said to The Guardian. “The roof was made of sheets of zinc – one of the best heat conductors. Me and my family had to endure high temperatures, rain and sandstorms that would sometimes take the roof off.”
After receiving a scholarship from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to study renewable energy, Tateh returned to the camps with an innovative solution to counter the challenges of desert climate – he began to build houses out of plastic bottles filled with sand and straw and fixed together with cement and limestone.
“When I came back to the camps, I decided to build a place for my grandmother to live that was more comfortable and more worthy of her,” he said. This Refugee Builds Homes Out Of Recycled Plastic Bottles
The plastic bottle structures he designs are more resistant to water, and their circular shape can withstand sandstorms. According to The Guardian, their white-painted exterior also reduces the impact of solar rays by up to 90%.
A video by the United Nations Refugee Agency gives us a look at these plastic bottle houses:
Tateh Lehbib builds homes out of plastic bottles filled with sand and straw.
Since being shared online on Friday, the Facebook video has collected more than 2 lakh views and dozens of comments.
“Great innovation, converting waste to building materials of used plastics,” wrote one person in the comments section. “What a great way to use up plastic,” said another, while a third added: “Thanks for protecting the environment.”