One of the major problems facing villagers in Cameroon is inadequate housing. This is both in terms of often being structurally unsafe, and in terms of creating living conditions that are detrimental to health. Therefore, the project for 2013-14 was to design a house that was affordable for local people and improved living conditions.
The health of the occupants was the most important consideration for the project. A number of aspects were included in the project: mosquito netting was integrated into the design to help reduce malaria. The floors were covered in a part mud, cement screed to create a surface that can be washed to reduce diseases spread to children who crawl on dirty floors. In addition, by using a tin roof, the house is watertight and able to capture water for use in washing and cleaning.
In addition to these health improvements there were a number of structural innovations. The house was constructed out of mud bricks laid in an improved bond to improve structural efficiency and to hold more warmth. Corbelled mud-brick windows were used to improve lighting and to create a large opening to be used in case of the need for exiting during a fire.
This house was donated to the village nurse who had to commute to the village in order to work in the medical centre. These innovations were passed on to builders and villagers during construction to help give the villagers the ability to improve their homes themselves and create better and more affordable homes in the future.
Thank you to all the students who worked to make this project happen.