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Service Learning Program at Tanzania

Global Initiative on Environment and Architecture was a collaborative program of Dr.B.N.College of Architecture along with Green contributors & Savannah Plains International School, Shinyanga, Tanzania. An initiative for a Community Development & Environmental Education. Justifying the title, this program was divided into three distinct programs which included constructing a Sustainable House for a Family if a Widow, Visit to Lake Victoria and Providing Environmental Education to the students of Savannah Plains International School, Tanzania.

This project is a prototype and will serve many in long run.

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• BNCA Students worked towards capacity building with the community and came up with a prototype design for a housing unit for communities with low income, which contributed in promoting local skills and craftsmanship and add to innovations in the same.

• A “Sustainable Housing Unit” at Shinyanga for a family of 7 people placed near Savannah Plains International School was built in two weeks..The house is a bare minimum, addressing the needs of a family of only women, low on maintenance and yet appropriate in its spatial proportions. The design took shape, literally, from our calculations of how the family would spend a typical day: out on the field working, coming back home to cook, and resting till the next day.

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• Also, the existing house was an ‘L’-shaped plan and this is where our thought was to retain the family’s memory of the old house, in a better, bigger one. The concept of sustainability takes root in the theories of longevity and blending well in ecology. This is why we opted for materials that cost next to nothing, and wouldn’t harm the natural environment as much as a conventional RCC apartment block would.

• The materials used were: Stones; Interlocking Bricks; Minimum amount of Cement ; Timber for the roof Truss and GI sheets for roof and Glass bottles of different Shape and size to build a feature wall. The most sustainable material we used on site were the Interlocking bricks; which were made with red murrum, cement and water. The bricks did not require baking and were cast manually. With one bag of Cement, 30 parts of red Murrum and water, 100 bricks were made.


• Trip to Lake Victoria, was organized by us on 15th -16th of June 2012, to allow students to understand the surroundings of the lake and its problems, to interact with the local people and understand their lifestyle and culture.

• Students were divided in groups and were provided with an assignment to field study and interview the local fishermen to understand their economic and ecological problems they face in day to day life.

• At the end of this trip it was concluded, that people earn very little wages, as life is very difficult; due to illegal fishing, the ecology is getting disturbed and there is a decline in fishes that that caught every day.

• Students were also provided with good information on how Illegal fishing is done and what are its effects on both man and environment by members of Environmental Department, Mwanza.

Members of Environmental department providing information to the students about fisheries

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• This part of the program included teaching students about environment. Various presentations were made for the students to understand ecology and its importance; movie on Pollution was shown.

• One of the assignments that was covered up with the help the Environmental Club of SPIS, was the Tyre Project. Since, it is very difficult to procure any of the scrap material in Tanzania; the tyres were donated by the in house teachers. Students then painted those tyres in groups and then planted saplings in them.

Members of Environmental department providing information to the students about fisheries

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Students enrolled for the program were
1.Ketaki Randive
2.Tanvi Bhagwat