A Bike Shop
Women empowerment in Mikocheni Maasai Village
C-re-aid’s second Bike Shop building, sponsored by Global Bike, provides a place for the women of Mikocheni, a small Maasai village, to work repairing and renting bikes.
A big shaded workspace is combined with a secure indoor space where bikes and spare parts can be stored, yet are easily accessible when needed.
The building is located in a remote Maasai village with no electricity, nor running water. Here, the women often have to travel large distances to get access to food or basic supplies. Global Bike therefore provides these women with bikes to make their daily tasks easier. However, bikes are easily damaged on the rural dirt roads in the village. This is why Global Bike also invests in bike shops; places where they teach the women how to repair their bikes and provide them with spare parts.
The design of the second Bike Shop puts special focus on the outdoor covered space, since this will be the area that is used most often. It is a place where the women can meet and work together on fixing the bikes, whilst sheltered from the burning sun. Yet it is also a place that can be used for meetings, classes and even celebrations. The sloped roof structure makes sure water can be rapidly removed during heavy rains, yet allows enough ventilation at the top. The enclosed indoor part of the building has a brick pattern with openings at the top of the walls, which allows ventilation and light to enter without creating security problems.
C-re-aid tries to promote sustainable building techniques and this building is our prototype for showing how to build with CEB’s (compressed earth bricks). The CEB’s that were used are made out of the soil from the construction site and lime(stone), pressed together with a manual press and dried in the sun. This makes them very cheap and sustainable, since no transport of (raw) building materials is needed and no wood needs to be cut for burning the bricks. Using lime instead of cement makes the bricks more sustainable, and it is ideal against the saline soil in Mikocheni. The bricks are very strong and waterproof, and we have already seen the local community showing an interest in using them.
Using limited available materials and building tools, we tried to provide them with a building that can become a unique and outstanding place in the village yet also safe and practical for fixing and storing bikes.
local building techniques
January - July 2018
Samantha Welby, Thomas
Stoffelen, Vincent Baisnée