October 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Eco-friendly building by award-winning architect will house students from visiting schools.
A BARNSTAPLE charity is building a brand new eco-friendly guest house for volunteers at its training centre in Uganda.
Amigos Worldwide, who works with vulnerably young people in Uganda, receives dozens of visitors a year and hopes the new building could increase school trips.
The building itself at Kira Farm Training Centre has been designed by award winning architect Malcolm Worby, as part of his Homeless and Poor People’s Initiative (HAPPI).
Mr Worby, whose parents live in North Devon, has designed the building to be made up from mud bricks and a grass roof.
Amigos CEO Phil Pugsley explained Ugandan buildings are normally made from cement and tin, which are both expensive and not environmentally friendly.
“This is a lot cheaper, is eco-friendly, and will provide a much healthier living environment,” explained Phil.
“Buildings made from cement and tin get baking hot in the sun and very cold at night, and the materials themselves are not cheap.
“To make mud bricks, normally Ugandans will dig the top layer of soil and bake the bricks in wood-fired ovens, but this is leading to the steady decline of trees.
“It also means they use their best soil with all the nutrients, so when it comes to farming the land, their crops will not grow.
“The students at Kira have been getting involved with our building, which means moving the topsoil, making bricks from the soil further down, then replacing it.
“These then dry in the sun, which is a lot more environmentally friendly and means the soil is still good for farming, which the students also learn at Kira.”
The charity is hoping the guest house will be in place within eight weeks, in time for visiting students from Braunton Academy and South Molton Community College.