Refugee Takes Used Plastic Battles and Builds Homes in His Village with Them


Back in the 1970s, the Western Sahara War was taking place which forced over 159,000 Sahrawi natives to leave this region and go to Algeria. Now, in 2017, many of these refugees are still living in Algerian camps. This area is a very hot desert that gets to be a little over 130℉. Two years ago, a flood hit the camping area in Tindouf, Algeria which washed away thousands of tents and huts that Sahrawi were living in. This motivated one refugee named Tateh Lehbib Breica to rebuild these dwellings out of material that would make them more durable. The material he found to do this job was… plastic bottles.

Breica gathered his plastic bottles by traveling three miles to the nearest landfill and collecting as many bottles as he could find during his stop. As he continued to gather plastic bottles, he would fill each one up with sand and cement. He would then start building a small house with them. This did the trick because the bottles created homes that were bulletproof, fire resistant, and insulated. They were even more durable than the adobe huts and tents that the Sahrawi were using before. Now if a flood comes along, the homes should be okay.

Breica started with the construction of a home for his grandmother and then continued to construct more homes for others at the camp. When the United Nations was presented with three thousand innovative projects, Breica’s project came in 3rd place. This earned him the financial support to build another 25 homes for the people at his camp. Each home is constructed out of six thousand plastic bottles. Breica is seeking to achieve his dream of helping to end the suffering of others.

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