Plastic Water Bottles for Rural Household Water Tanks REMIX
ECO-TEC Environmental solution’s main emphasis is transformation of waste for construction and infrastructure. ECO-TEC is the inventor and pioneer of the use of PET water bottles as bricks.
ECO-TEC Environmental solution’s main emphasis is transformation of waste for construction and infrastructure. ECO-TEC is the inventor and pioneer of the use of PET water bottles as bricks. In the last nine years, ECO-TEC has worked on 50 projects in five countries on three continents, most recently Africa, Uganda in particular.
ECO-TEC transfers its know-how to communities who then train others whiling working on ECO-TEC projects. ECO-TEC uses no steel in the body of water tanks; it uses earth and very little cement.
· Consultancy in waste management
· Bio-construction and eco-design
· Passing on the know-how to rural communities (training sessions)
ECO-TEC products include:
· Water tanks for rain water harvesting
· Biogas digesters for cooking energy
Water in Uganda
According to the United Nations Environment Program, over 80 percent of the population in the developing countries lack access to safe potable water. This translates into one and a half billion rural people especially children experience daily hardship to obtain adequate and sufficient water to satisfy their basic needs.
The water sector is one of the priority sectors in Uganda, as it directly impacts on the quality of life of the people and overall productivity of the population. Water supply and sanitation are among the key issues emphasized under the national Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), which is the key government framework for ensuring poverty eradication through creation of an enabling environment for rapid economic development and social transformation.
Water is a key strategic resource, vital for sustaining life, promoting development and maintaining the environment. Access to clean and safe water and improved sanitation facilities and practices are pre-requisites to a health population and therefore have a direct impact on the quality of life and productivity of the population. Besides domestic water supply, water is also vital for: Livestock Water Supply, Industrial Water Supply, Hydropower generation, Agriculture, Marine Transport, Fisheries, Waste Discharge, Tourism, and Environmental Conservation. Water, therefore, significantly contributes to the national socio-economic development and thus poverty eradication.
Despite Uganda’s being well endowed with significant freshwater resources, the challenges of rapid population growth, increased urbanization and industrialization, uncontrolled environmental degradation and pollution are leading to accelerated depletion and degradation of the available water resources. Uganda is also faced with the challenge of low safe water coverage (59% rural and 65% urban, as of December 2003).
Improved water and sanitation services have two potential benefits:
· Improved health; and
· Savings in time collecting water.
Time savings provide the potential for increased economic activity, education and child care but other factors are needed to bring these to fruition. Faeco-oral diseases form as substantial part of the disease burden in Uganda particular for young children.
Waste collection in Uganda:
The amount of waste generated in Kampala in 2002 was 430 000 tons and with 6880 tons of plastic waste. There are two main paths for this part of the waste. Some of it ends up at illegal deposits and in the drainage system, streets.
1. Transfer ECO-TEC know how to communities through training rural communities by constructing rain water harvesting tanks.
2. Transform waste (PET bottles) into construction bricks which will attract value
3. Job creation for the rural people especially women and the youth.
4. Waste reduction since the PET bottle will be a resource.
5. Environment protection; the traditional bricks used today are burnt using wood. ECO-TEC bricks do not need baking.
Methods used to achieve the set objective:
1. Creating community awareness
2. We have constructed a toilet using PET Bottles in Kayunga, Uganda
3. ECO-TEC is in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with Makerere University to set up a training centre.
The promotion of ECO-TEC supports the achievement of the millennium development goals in Uganda and in other developing nations in the following ways:
MDG: 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Target 1. Reduce extreme poverty by half
ECO-TEC tanks and buildings reduce financial and economic costs expended on building materials. The saved money can be put to other productive activities like agriculture, education.
ECO-TEC know-how will provide additional benefits like
§ Creation of Jobs
§ Capacity building
MDG 3: Promote gender quality and empower women
Target 4. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education
Women and girls predominantly spend time and energy on water collection which in the long run creates barriers for women and girls in accessing education and information, as well as their mobility and participation in ‘public’ activities.
§ Domestic water tank reduces the workload – collection of water takes.
MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
ECO-TEC products can help to achieve sustainable use of natural resources, as well as reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which protects the local and global environment. For every one ton of PET plastic recycled, 1.7 tons of CO2 is emitted at the same time plastic that is not recycled finds its way into the lake or sea thus affecting the aqua system. Each PET bottle-brick is one less bottle burned or thrown into the river or sea.
Target 10. Halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
· PET bottle brick reduces fresh water pollution as a result of improved and sustainable management of plastic waste.
Two in one solution to PET waste:
Farmers, schools, hospitals in Uganda can achieve cheap water supply and sanitation if they construct water tanks from Plastic bottles. This will provide for a sustainable waste management at the same time providing water storage units and better housing units. The water tanks would collect and store water for home and garden use.
Water collecting tanks can be constructed by using PET bottles; this idea was developed by ECO-TEC. ECO-TEC Africa has demonstrated her technology to Uganda (Kayunga in particular) by building a toilet using PET bottles. This kind of technology serves several purposes, water tanks, granary, toilets (latrines), and houses.
The ECO-TEC method is a real contribution to greenhouse gas reduction and thus a positive step against global warming, the application of the ECO-TEC method generates no pollution. Each PET bottle-brick is one less bottle burned or thrown into the river or sea.
ECO-TEC uses simple construction materials,
· Sand (this may or may not be used)
· Nylon wire
· PET Bottle
Note: PET bottles can be picked at no cost off the streets and the tank owner provides labor.
ECO-TEC 2000 litre tank is cheaper compared to a plastic tank of the same capacity that costs 560,500 Ugandan shillings (about 273 US dollars).
Recycling industry in Uganda is paying 300 shillings (15 cents) for every one kilogram (these are 300 bottles) of PET bottles collected. ECO-TEC bricks will attract a price
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