using plastic bottles have become a center of attraction at Mbalala township in Mukono
Allan Obbo, the founder
of the project says it has demonstrated that littered plastic bottles can be an alternative building material as well cleaning the environment.
plastic houses are constructed using thousands of plastic bottles filled with
soil instead of burnt bricks.
Obbo, a fine art
teacher at Seeta High School says he conceived the idea after attending a patriotism
club workshop at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi where President
Museveni was one of the speakers.
Obbo says after the
workshop, he discovered that protecting the environment is one of the ways one
can express the spirit of patriotism.
From Kyankwanzi Obbo
embarked on his patriotism dream by constructing a first house for an elderly
lady but one of the challenges was the cost of bricks.
He and others birthed
the beautiful eco-friendly innovation turning plastic bottles instead of burnt bricks.
The bottles are bonded together using soil or cement to
raise walls. Obbo says using plastic bottles can be more effective compared
to some conventional building materials such as bricks or cement blocks.
Obbo has mobilized twenty women to fill soil into bottles ready to be turned into
He says soil dug from pit latrines can be used to fill the
bottles as well as bonding them when raising the walls.
Out of over a million bottles he has managed to set up
structures for 18 bedrooms, washrooms and a bar shade using bottles arranged in
different designs giving a unique appearance from inside and outside the walls
without requiring paint.
Inside the rooms, Obbo avoids the use of air conditioners to generate air. Apart
from a well-arranged garden, Obbo has also ensured planting trees around the
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Much as the innovation has been tried elsewhere in the world, Obbo says many
architects and building engineers have had a negative attitude towards the innovation
saying it requires a lot of time.
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Alex Kausi the site overseer says putting together bottles to raise a strong
structure requires supporting it with concrete pillars.
“After filling bottles with either soil or sand, bonding them together requires
much of cement but this is a structure that can last for even 200 years. Unlike
building using bricks, at various levels constructing using bottles requires
giving structures time to dry and then add on layers” Kausi says.
Racheal Kuteesa, Obbo's wife says the project goes beyond looking at
environment conservation but also employs a number people especially women.
One of the women involved in bottle filling Biligaliya Nalwadda is grateful for
the project saying it saved them from spending time loitering with friends. She says that bottle filling became another lucrative business to them.
“We were trained how to fill bottles and now we have experience in that, they
have been used on constructions that have attracted many people to visit”