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 🙂

photo 3

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


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