A woman making Red soil Block
Women and girls are working hard to make sure community building project is moving.
On 08- Feb - 2011 president Omer al-Bashir, issued a republican decree accepting the final results of referendum, which supports the separation of the South into an independent state. North and South Sudan are presently engaged in talks to resolve the sensitive issues, which includes sharing of oil revenues, demarcation of boarders, and the contested oil-rich Abyei region.
Hope Ofiriha is waiting, women are waiting, and children are waiting for the donors to give the hand –press soil blocks for their building projects. We have a hand –press soil block machine. This one is not enough to cover entire community Omilling rural resettlement.
At Omilling village, women and girls are working hard to make soil blocks and children collect water to help in the production. As a community they are working well together and we are excited about the progress they are making, and we are looking forward to seeing the results of tireless work.
Soil Stabilized blocks (SSBs) are the best alternative to more expensive building materials such as burnt bricks.
Women are mixing the cement with local soil while young girls bring them water to complete the mix. It is also important the community is told about the different types of soil and the right way of making the soil blocks which will last for years, and years.
4 women can produce 400 – to – 500 soil blocks per day, which means the project is moving well.
Once the mixture is complete, it is placed in a simple hand operated pressing machine and compacted into soil blocks. These blocks are then placed in lines, covered with polythene and left to cure for 14 days. They are then ready to be used in construction.
Before we started producing the earth blocks we had to understand the quality of the soil we had available on the site and decide whether it is suitable for producing SSBs. We had then to work out the quality of cement needed to ensure the loading bearing capabilities and water resistance of “blocks”.
“Soil with a lot of clay in it is good as it helps freshly moulded blocks to stay in one piece. On other hand, sand and gravel give strength to the final product. Here in Omilling we have abundance of gravelly reddish type of soil which is perfect.
Producing these earth soil blocks uses very little energy and water – and unlike locally produced burnt bricks - the soil blocks do not have to be fired in a kiln.
The earth blocks are so strong and durable and by using in the building projects they are cheap and also helping our environment.
The women usually produce 500 soil blocks per day. The main advantage of this technology is that we can make the stabilized soil blocks on the site and we hardly need to use water. We are also using very little cement – 86 bags for 21,000 soil blocks which is enough to build 4 classrooms. The hand –pressing machine is also really easy to use, and when the classroom is built it does not need any plastering and looks so beautiful.
Hope Ofiriha is helping women to learn from one another through sharing experiences, innovations and lessons. After South Sudan becomes Independence on July 9, Hope Ofiriha will be organizing exchange visits so that more women learn from each other locally.
To keep up the momentum of this environmental –soil blocks project we need 40 people to give $10 each – or more on regular basis. Could you be one of these, please? If so please donate to “Give Better Blocks for Reconstruction: South Sudan” – through GlobalGiving on monthly basis or one time donation.
In the next three months we will have new progress report, and to demonstrate to you the impact of your donations and also the changes your contributions is making the lives of poor women in Omilling rural resettlements of south Sudan.
Thanks for joining hands with Hope Ofiriha!