Change the world with your donation

HFW BAU: School/orphanage made of clay + sustainable water/electricity supp

A project from Häuser für Waisenkinder e.V.
in Siaya, Kenya

We construct sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings in a project that provides education and opportunities for children. We promote clay construction as the most ecological building method and solar technology as a resource-saving energy

Meike Wagner
Write a message

About this project

We, the non-profit association "Häuser für Waisenkinder e.V.", together with our cooperation partner "Mbaga Orphaned Children's Centre" in Siaya, Kenya, provide sustainable development work and humanitarian aid. We are committed to providing healthy nutrition and a good school education for needy children so that they have the best chances for a good future.

The project is still in the growth phase. In the coming years, more children will be enrolled in the school. Long-term goals are more classrooms and toilets, a bigger administration building (staff room, office, library), a cafeteria, an extension of the playground and a second orphanage.

We write CLIMATE-FRIENDLY in capital letters. That is why the buildings in the project are made of clay. The oldest and probably most underestimated building material in the world offers an alternative to concrete construction (the production of 100kg of cement releases 70kg of CO2!). The thick, clay-rich earth is available in abundance and does not have to be transported long distances. Only sand, water and sieved clay soil are needed for clay block production. No big construction company is needed, women and men from the neighbourhood are used, for whom the work ensures survival - we work SOCIALLY. The sun-dried clay stones are used like any other stone.

The project site is so far away from the public electricity and water grid that we resort to other SUSTAINABLE options. Solar power provides light at night, though the range needs to be extended for more security. Rainwater is collected in large tanks, but as soon as it doesn't rain for a few days, the water in them is used up (garden, kitchen, orphanage, some construction work). For this reason, we are now saving in the long term for a well that can also supply the neighbourhood with water. In the short term, however, we need a generator pump that taps into the nearby river and supports the solar pump (whose maximum power is unfortunately not sufficient to fill the tank fast enough).

The ECOLOGICAL dry toilets work without flushing and save water. Since urine is a super fertiliser (diluted 1:10 with water) and faeces (technical term for everything that is not urine) can be composted wonderfully, the liquid is separated from the solid. So there are two holes in the school's separation toilets: one large and one small ... the garden is happy! Another advantage over the usual outhouses: no bad smell and nothing that could contaminate the groundwater. For the first toilet block, 'Engineers Without Borders' provided planning documents and tools - thank you!

You can find more information about the project on facebook and on our website.