Chamazi visit – Meeting with Said Seif

Léa went to visit Chamazi with Sajie Nswebe, one of the CCI team leaders and project manager for Chamazi community.

After a meeting at CCI office, they went there together using only public transports. It was quite interesting to realize how the distance is long from CCI office, which is situated near Millenium Tower, to Chamazi. It requires four dalala (public bus) changes and takes minimum two hours.


When we arrived at Chamazi, we met Said Seif, the chairman of Mungano Housing Cooperative. During the discussion, we get news about the actual situation of the constructions : now, four houses are fully built, the eight rental houses are almost finished, and they are continuing slowly to build other houses. Still, because of the lack of funding the constructions are too slow. But the good thing is they have strategic plans. For example, they were focus on building many foundations first before to start to build the walls. That is why, today 35 foundations are ready to use. The second step, when future inhabitants finish to pay and to choose their houses, they can start to prepare bricks and tiles.



Later, we walked around the community to visit the new constructions, still with Sajie Nswebe and Said Seif. It was interesting to observe all the evolution since we came in February and also since Amanda visit the place. We were a week day so not so many people were around but we get the chance to meet some community members and discuss with them. I was surprised and glad to see the happiness on their faces to recognize that I am part of the “Finnish girls” working on the Community Center. Moreover they remember that Amanda came a few weeks ago so they seem to note our real motivation for this project.

We hope to see you soon Chamazi and start the Community Center’s construction !

Let’s keep patience still a few months.






Training Workshop – Water bottle wall at Madale

During her trip Léa organized a workshop in collaboration with Art in Tanzania (AIT) and CCI in order to give a training to the Chamazi community.


Currently AIT is building a new volunteer house in the area called Madale. In order to protect the house again the rain water, they needed to build a small wall behind the house. That is why I decided to provide the Chamazi community members to come there and build this wall with plastic bottles. Everybody get advantages : AIT has the wall they needed and Chamazi community a training to prepare them to build the future Community Center.

The workshop was unrolled during two days, the 18th and 19th of August.

Participated also some people from the communities of Karakata and Mabwepande, which CCI is working with. Sajie Nswebe, the project manager for Chamazi community, stayed with us during all the Workshop.


Everybody worked very well and was fully invested on the construction. We made the wall step by step including sticking bottles with sand, preparing the foundations, the cement mixture, etc. We finished to create a wave shape for the top of the wall and plaster it : one part with cement and the second part with clay. We keep diagonals without plaster to show to the neighbors and passers how this small wall was built.

We had the chance to have the visit of a journalist, Robert Temalilwa working for Nipashe Newspaper. A few days later an article about the water bottle construction workshop appeared in the newspaper.

Moreover, I contacted Elias Kwanama from National Housing & Building Research Agency and told him that he is welcome to visit us during the workshop and see how the construction made with plastic bottles is going. So, I was happy to see Amri A.Juma, Simon Mushi and Pato Ninje working for NHBRA coming to visit us and discover the new construction materials with the bottles and also with bamboo that Art in Tanzania is using for the second floor of the volunteer house. They looked very interested. Now, due to the workshop, NHBRA is in contact with AIT.


Marjut (from Art in Tanzania) with Amri A.Juma, Simon Mushi and Pato Ninje (from NHBRA)

I think the result was quite positive. The organization worked well from the beginning to the end, the goal has been reached, participants learned more and seemed happy about these two days. Everybody left with a personal certificate and a large smile !






Meeting with NHBRA – Elias Kwanama

During the summer time, Léa went to Dar es Salaam to spend two months as a volunteer in the NGO called Art in Tanzania.

The 15th August 2014, she had a meeting with Elias Kwanama, an engineer working for National Housing & Building Research Agency (NHBRA), at their office at Mwenge in Dar es Salaam.

We get his contact from Schola Sticka, the architect following the Chamazi community project.

This meeting was very important and useful for our project.

NHBRA is the company who found the inter-locking bricks technique and integrated it for the Chamazi community.

The NHBRA’s main idea is to looking for new construction techniques. In the company there are engineers, architects, social scientifics, and ecologists. All of them work together. They apply for research to find solution for housing. One of their ideas is to use the material they find on the site. So each site has a specific solution. Always, they wish to build cheaper and stronger.

During our meeting, I presented to him our project since the beginning : who we are, what we did with Aalto University, our trip in February, etc until now. Elias Kwanama seemed to like our project and the design (Community Center and Housing).

After a visit of their office and factories, we spoke about what we can do together.

Elias told me that to use plastic bottles is a good project and could be an alternative for this country. They can test and promote this new construction material with us. Elias Kwanama said : “It will be interesting to go with you. We are definitely interested”. They are researchers so they would like to try in anything. The bottles are also good for environment because we recycle it. He purposed to provide us people to work during the construction of the Community Center : engineers, technicians, supervisors, guides. They can contribute them for free.

At the end of this positive meeting, we concluded that we will keep in touch until the beginning of the construction if we get the funding from the Finnish ministry. And we will see how we will organize this new collaboration 🙂

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Léa and Elias Kwanama during the meeting at the NHBRA office.