Monday, 2 February 2009

Marcus, Ecoshelter, Ecodome and Attachab

Quick facts and links (at the end) about Marcus/Ecoshelter, Dadamac, Fantsuam Foundation, and Attachab ecovillage.
  • Marcus and I met at PRADSA (Practical Design for Social Action) in March 2008.
  • Made plans for him to come to Attachab through Dadamac (I'm the "mac" half of Dadamac - Knowledge Brokers)
  • Discussed ideas and plans by phone and through the Internet
  • Marcus joined some of the online Dadamac UK-Nigeria team meetings (held weekly using Skype conferencing - typed).
  • September 2008 Marcus came with me to Nigeria, and worked with Dadamac, Fantsuam Foundation and local people to build an experimental eco-dome at Attachab Eco-village.
  • Arrived Abuja early morning Tuesday September 23rd
  • Met by John Dada (who is the "Dada" half of Dadamac - and director of Fantsuam Foundation - an unpaid role).
  • Thanks to the early preparation Marcus hit the ground running - a few hours after arriving he was at the local timber yard, with Dadamac/Fantsuam Foundation team, choosing the wood he needed for his work.
  • Marcus and local "trainee team" successfully constructed small demonstration eco-dome.
  • Local carpenter made straw bale maker under Marcus direction.
  • Straw bale making was demonstrated.
  • Marcus visited other contacts in Kaduna State interested in eco-development.
  • Marcus' contacts from Lagos visited to learn about eco-domes, straw bale buildings, and permaculture.
  • Marcus did a training session on photography and photo-editing, for some of the students at the Knowledge Resource Centre.
  • Marcus was able to do a presentation at the Fantsuam Foundation Knowledge Resource Centre, showing the Attachab eco-dome construction and the bale maker, plus larger ecodomes and straw bale buildings from around the world. (Marcus spoke in English, the photos spoke for themselves, and afterwards John chaired questions and answers and discussion, often in Hausa. Answers came not just from Marcus, but also from the local team who had helped him, so language was not an issue.)
On Sunday October 12th we drove back to Abuja, ready for an early flight home on Monday, just under three weeks after we had arrived. Much useful learning done on all sides. All sides keen to continue the collaboration.

Outcomes and continuing story. Eco-dome will need some final weather proofing (plastering, and perhaps some thatch matting laid over the "roof area") - before the rainy season. Needs more money for that. Eco-dome is popular. It is cool and people feel confident about constucting others. Various people want to have eco-domes, when they can afford them (much cheaper than alternatives). Plans for larger eco-dome and straw bale building when funds allow.

See Cecily's blog dreams-will-come-true for wider view of Attachab and eco-dome.
See videos by Vinay Gupta ref Ecoshelter, and Ecod0me with Dadamac

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