Everyone can do it!

Everyone can do it!

The Fanya Mambo Program seeks to address problems associated with a lack of jobs and job skills training, and the degradation of the urban landscape in Kenya and other cities across Africa. We find sites and projects that benefit from green construction projects, and teach others in the community, skills in green construction.

Dec 18, 2010


As the year draws to an end, we the Fanya Mambo team, is very pleased with the progress of this program. When we first hit the ground with this idea, the neighborhood of Maringo Estate in Nairobi was in a very sorry state. You could see trash of all kinds littered almost everywhere but thanks to our initiative the local authorities now seems to be doing something. Recently i was shocked to notice them cleaning up a pile of garbage that we have been trying to wipe out but could not since we only recycle used plastic bottles and plastic bags, which in most cases turn out to be almost 50% of the pile. That means that even if we wipe out the plastics completely, the remaining garbage which is mainly organic also needs to be taken care of.

Its not only the local authority that is acting, i noticed another group that is also in this fight with us but from a different angle.Theirs is a much needed effort also, they are pressuring some of the major Supermarkets to look for alternative wrapping bags which are not made out of plastic. Going by the recent events, i can easily say that most of the affected parties have realized that "There is a time to joke around and there is a time to swallow a bone". Those my friends, are not my words but a proverb amongst my people.And as Chinua Achebe so famously observed, proverbs are the palm wine with which words are eaten.

Checkout the attached photos of our work so far!!

Sep 8, 2010

Project Manager: Benjamin Odea


1. Change behavior (littering)

2. Teach a vocational building skill (education)

3. Inform participants about the environment


Produces affordable building material

Low overhead

Easy to teach

Creates finished works that can sustain moderate to

heavy use

Recycles plastic bottles: a leading component of urban trash

Is suited for community participation

Seems to sell itself

Fanya Mambo means ”do things” in Swahili. It is the brainchild of Solace field director, Benjamin (Banze) Odera. Just returned from nine months in Guatemala overseeing the development of Casa del NiƱo childrens’ home, Odea has implemented The Fanya Mambo Program. This program seeks to address problems associated with a lack of jobs and job skills training, and the degradation of the urban landscape in Kenya and other cities across Africa.

One of the more successful green construction methods in Guatemala was the use of empty plastic bottles to create nearly free “eco-bricks”. This method lends itself to non-load bearing projects like interior walls, exterior walls or benches.

The program starts at the school level with students encouraged to bring in plastic bottles found locally. The bottles are then stuffed with plastic bags or small debris and capped to make “eco-bricks”. These eco-bricks are secured inside a structure of chicken wire or held fast by other means. A layer of ferro cement is placed over the top, and the structure is left to dry.

Banze has worked with Solace marketing consultant, Marcus Stanfill, to develop presentation materials for the Kenyan business and government leaders. The project is being entered into two US-based competitions for projects in international development.