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Monday, 09 November 2015 05:55

Building with rubbish in the village!




Remember our update a few months ago that the ward councilor of The Oaks village visited DAKTARI? Well, we made an agreement with him that his Community Workers Team (CWT) will clean the public places in the village every Monday and Thursday. This has been going on for a while now and we are very happy to drive into a clean market place and unpolluted school areas every time we visit the village. The CWT also takes the full rubbish bags to the rubbish dump on a weekly basis, which is quite a big step for a village without a proper waste management plan. Okay – let’s be honest – there is still a lot of work to do before each household has its own dustbin or even recycling bin and a rubbish truck comes to collect the rubbish. However, good things come in small packages and then we didn’t even talk about our ‘building with rubbish’ project yet!


The project

First things first. Building with rubbish you said? Yes, that’s right and it is purely a win win situation! A while ago, we asked all primary and high school learners in The Oaks to collect empty plastic bottles. They could fill these up with plastic rubbish until the top, resulting in a solid and non-squeezable so-called Ecobrick. In many Asian countries, people already apply these Ecobricks to build sustainable greenhouses and earthquake-proof houses and schools. However, what we are planning to build with these re-usable bricks is a huge dustbin, right on the marketplace of the village – THE spot where a dustbin is needed the most!

Our local volunteer Willinton explaining the project to Grade 4 learners
Posters to read through the project again

The students reacted very positively and it was in the afternoon when we introduced the project, that we already saw several youngsters putting plastic rubbish from the streets into bottles. Besides that this is amazing to see, this project has benefits on many fronts:

·      The village will be cleaner as children use plastic litter to put in the bottles.

·      Fewer plastics will be burnt at the houses, as also plastics from domestic rubbish are used to fill the bottles.

·      The common goal is building the first public dustbin for the village. It will be something to be proud of for the children, as they took part in realizing it.

·      We spread the word of the importance of taking care for the environment and that rubbish belongs in the dustbin.


Up until today, we collected 300 bottles from many different children. Some were unbelievably enthuastic: Tebatso, for example, brought 38 bottles in one go! To be able to build a big dustbin, 500 bottles are needed and the expectations are that we will reach this number soon. At that very point, we can start building the first public dustbin for The Oaks, of course in close collaboration with the community members. And the good news is: you can also take part in this project!

Some of the 'Ecobrickers' with their bottles. We are getting there!

Would you like to support DAKTARI’s Outreach Programme and contribute towards the purchase of cement, so that we can start building this Ecobricks dustbin? Check out our GlobalGiving page to make a donation.


On behalf of the local communities and the Outreach team, a heartfelt ‘ke leboga kudu’ (means ‘thank you very much’ in the local language; Sepedi)! YOUR support makes a difference!

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