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
• 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 Niño 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.