New sustainable housing from Innovation Hub

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

The right to housing is an intrinsic human right that is universally recognized as part of the right to an adequate standard of living. Botswana recognizes this right and has developed Vision 2016 as the country’s strategy to propel its socio-economic and political development into a competitive, winning and prosperous nation.

In working towards these noble goals Botswana Innovation Hub embarked on the development of a Sustainable Housing unit through the enhancement of a standard prototype unit which takes on broad issues of material use and durability, environmental impact, social acceptance, functionality and economic feasibility, over and above its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

Recently, the Botswana Innovation Hub staff set up the prototype Unit and handed it over to Mma Mosadiwasetswana Kaboaga, a resident of Khudumelapye in the Kweneng District.

In this worthwhile project, the company partnered with the Ikea Foundation, a Swedish based NGO, to further develop the prototype unit and bring the Sustainable Housing Unit concept to market through Intellectual Property Rights development and Research and Development.

BIH says this unit offers an alternative housing solution that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of people through its rapid deployment, solar renewable lighting, rain water catchment and use of local materials as value additions. The Sustainable Housing Unit initiative demonstrates the use of technologies for residential shelter development while taking into account local resources.

“The initial six months shall be dedicated to Research and Development in partnership with local Research and Public institutes to standardise the Unit. Work shall be conducted by experts from Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) on building material, University of Botswana Architecture on design aspects, Buildings and Engineering Services on structural aspects and Ministry of Lands and Housing on social and economic aspects of the house,” said BIH’s Tigele Mokobi.

The data collected shall be used to further have the design and manufacturing components of the housing unit suited for local climatic and social conditions with full scale production anticipated in the near future.

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