Gumbo (South-Sudan) In Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where there is limited access to clean water, bottled water is drunk, creating a substantial amount of plastic waste. Hence came the idea of turning waste bottles into building materials to help the poor build affordable homes and keep the city clean. In fact, every year during the rainy season, many people lose their homes due to the strong wind and rain that destroy their tukuls – mud houses with grass roofs.
Sr. Lourdes Hermoso, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Animator of the community of Gumbo, near Juba, of the Preprovince Mary Help of Christians of Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan (AES), decided to invest in the construction of houses with plastic bottles, not only to help the poor and to keep the environment clean, but also to make the new generation aware of society’s problems, involving young people in projects.
At this time of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sister Lourdes coordinates the work to rebuild the toilet facilities of the Gumbo school with plastic bottles, so that primary school pupils and the girls in the literacy program, upon returning to school, can enjoy clean and hygienically safe bathrooms.
The whole community of Gumbo, including women, children, and the elderly, participate in the process of transforming the bottles into eco-bricks by collecting the bottles which are then filled with sand, and they receive an income from their work. Young local builders use ecological bricks in the construction of small buildings and families enjoy cooler constructions, since the sand insulates from the heat while respecting the environment.
The project is supported by VIDESSUR.