This Sahrawi Refugee Is Using Recycled Plastic Bottles To Build New Homes

Although the Sahwari refugee camps sit in Algeria's arid south, the mudbrick homes are periodically hit with heavy rains that sweep over the Sahara Desert.

In a bid to build a robust alternative, and replace some of the tens of thousands of homes demolished in a 2015 storm, Tateh Lehbib Breica turned to plastic bottles.

(Screenshot via UNHCR video)

(Screenshot via UNHCR video)

The 28-year-old engineer has been a refugee his entire life, one of more than 165,000 Sahrawis that were displaced during the Western Sahara War.

His first build, made from discarded bottles filled with sand and straw, aimed to provide shelter for his grandmother, living in a region where temperatures can reach up to 43°C.

"I wanted her not to suffer so much from the heat, and to lead a better, more comfortable life," he tells the Middle East Eye.

With help from the UN Refugee Agency, Breica has now constructed 25 new houses, each one of which requires around 6,000 bottles, Global Citizen reports.

(Screenshot via UNHCR video)

(Screenshot via UNHCR video)

The homes will be allocated to vulnerable people in the Awserd refugee camp and are said to be a lot "more durable" than the mud-brick houses.

"And we have adopted the circular shape because it is aerodynamic and can withstand storms more effectively," Shelter Officer Otis Moore said.

Breica has even gained the nickname “Majnoun al qarurat", which translates to "crazy with bottles.”

Read More -> Britain could cut 25,000 tonnes of waste with a ban on plastic coffee cups

By Matthew Kirby, published on 16/05/2017