Roscher Youth Devp. trains communities on sand bag houses construction

Written by  Mc Donald Gondwe

Roscher Youth Development Centre in Rumphi has equipped some communities in Mzimba and Rumphi districts with skills to construct earth bag houses.


The training is part of the mobilization campaign the institution is advocating towards adoption of earth bag houses in disaster prone areas in the country.


Speaking during the event, Roscher Youth Development Centre Executive Director, Moir Walita Mkandawire said the training is a follow up to the massive sensitization mechanisms on a new technique on constructing houses using dirt or sand packed into plastic sacks and stacked.


“The two day intensive workshop will drill the artisans to ably meet the specifications for earth bag houses; our experts will unveil the tactics which they are later expected to apply to their communities,” observed Mkandawire.


“These houses are environmentally friendly as they reduce the risk of wanton cutting down of trees due to brick burning,” added Mkandawire.


Mkandawire has since said the technic has received a positive response from communities as many people are showing  interest to adopt it.


“There is an overwhelming response and I think people have started to understand the social economic benefits associated with it, we started with our model office complex then some primary schools and its now heading to people’s houses,” noted the Executive Director.


The institution also feels that if the earth bags were vehemently adopted in other public institutions like health, and Local Development Fund there would be more developmental impacts from the technic.


“As an institution we feel like some developmental projects though good but also facilitates deforestation and its negative effects on climate condition; imagine how many trees would be saved if we stopped to burn bricks for constructing a school block? Wondered Mkandawire but didn’t go into details.


District Forestry Officer for Rumphi, Gift Banda highlighted some important aspects in conservation of the environment while hailing Roscher Youth Development Centre for introducing earth bag houses to the district.


“Rumphi district is vulnerable to deforestation due to tobacco farming, charcoal production, illegal settlements, and brick burning and this program by Roscher is environmental friendly and it’s our pledge as a council to support it,” Banda said.


Group Village Headman Jeyeka Mbale, one of the victims of the 2016 Rumphi flush floods took advantage of the meeting to urge people to locate to uplands although without necessarily engaging in deforestation.


The center’s intends to reach out to many people with similar training across the country with school management committees, traditional leaders, artisans; and village and area development committees on the target.


The institution is being piloting the project with the technical and financial support from Support Malawi Heidelberg through Heinrich Wegener of Germany.

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