Anyone remembers David Mayer de Rothschild’s Plastiki, “a 60 feet (18 m) catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products” that successfully conquered the Pacific Ocean last year?
Well, it seems this young man from Lamu (Kenya) had a similar idea and is in the process of building his own plastic bottle boat. Our reader Arthur Buliva from Kenya just sent us these pictures with the following explanation:
I was in Lamu recently and came across this man who was making a boat out of plastic bottles and old slippers. He was not yet finished with it yet but I took the few photos of the product that I could.
He says that he collects plastic water bottles that the tourists throw on the beach. He also wakes up early in the morning to collect bottles washed ashore from the sea. With these he has constructed the (in his own words, “first in its kind”) boat.
He water-proofs it by sealing the gaps with used slippers collected in the very same way. Then boils tar in order to glue the components all together.
Kenya believe it? 🙂
(all images kindly shared by Arthur Buliva under a CC-SA licence – thx!)
My daughter and I had a lot of fun on Lamu island, off the coast of Kenya, earlier this year. One of the items we came across was this coconut handbag. Some had designs, some were raw, all were incredibly cool.
If I remember correctly, I bargained poorly and bought it for 150/= ($2). The problem was that the merchant new how badly my daughter wanted it so he knew I was stuck. 🙂 This is the one we ended up buying:
Yes, these are mainly for tourists. However, it’s a good showcase of local reuse of what would otherwise be garbage for microentrepreneurial gain.
I was in Lamu in June and came upon a metal workshop tucked away behind the front row of buildings on the main path from Lamu Town to Shela. Inside were two blacksmiths, Adam Marabu and Abdul Ahmed, working diligently at creating a new anchor. What caught my eye though, was the bellows. They had taken old cement bags and hooked them up to metal pipes in the floor that fed air into the make-shift furnace.
Here’s a short video with some footage of them at work:
One of my favorite stories on AfriGadget was the other unique bellows I found, this time in Nairobi, made out of an old bicycle. Both of these go examples go to show what can be done with very little. It’s about improvising what you have and overcoming a challenge.
Adam and Abdul make all types of items, but they told me that their main products are anchors, which range from small to large (2000-5000/= or $26-65) and, chisels and coconut shellers. They create a lot of the small metal pieces on the local dhows, and also make doors and window frames for the homes in the town. Really, they can make just about anything that you desire, like experienced metal workers anywhere in the world. What’s amazing is what they do it with.
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