Sandbag houses for flood victims

The rainy season was unusual. In January 2015, the rain was short but very intense. Same in 2016. Subsequently the rivers burst their banks and destroyed villages and fields. More than 150000 people are affected.

Therefore, we have established a new project together with the Roscher Youth Development Center in Rumphi in May.

It's about new houses with walls of sandbags. Used plastic bags, for sugar or fertilizer, are filled with sand and then stacked. Between each layer is barbed wire to prevent slipping. Space is left for windows and doors, a roof made of straw or iron sheets. Traditionally the easiest, the walls can be plastered with clay. This method of construction for years has been designed by the American architect Owen Geiger and is sucessfully used worldwide (see

Construction of a sandbag house
Construction of a sandbag house
Earthbag house behind the Rocher Youth Development CentreEarthbag house behind the Rocher Youth Development Centre


The young people in Rumphi learn very committed to build such earthbag homes. Then they can employ their knowledge in the construction of new houses in the South and to create new homes for flood victims in a simple and inexpensive way.

  1. Create a prototype to get experiences done
  2. Build some more houses for learning in progress
  3. Run many trainings for many villages all over Malawi in planing

Read more and see more picture at

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