Jul 11, 2016 BIH News

BIH Donates a House to a Resident of Khekhenye Village

Botswana Innovation Hub Donates a House to a Resident of Khekhenye Village in the Kweneng District

Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Alan Boshwaen, on Tuesday 28th June, handed over one of the company’s Sustainable Housing Units to Tlhokaina Gabolatlhwe of Khekhenye village in the Kweneng District. Gabolatlhwe’s original dwellings were recently burnt to the ground by an accidental fire.

Boshwaen said the donation of the house was part of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and a fitting gesture as the country celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence and the culmination of the national Vision 2016.

Vision 2016 reflects the national aspirations of Batswana about their long-term future. The national aspirations include those of a Prosperous, Productive and Innovative Nation that is Compassionate, Just and Caring which is also Safe and Secure.

The Sustainable Housing project is an initiative of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s Clean-Tech programme that seeks alternative housing solutions that have the potential to address the housing challenges that exist in the country using locally available low cost material.

CEO Alan Boshwaen handing over the house to Tlhokaina Gabolatlhwe. Looking on is Khekhenye VDC Chairman Kgogo Kgongkane

Boshwaen said with a mandate that focuses on technology adoption and diffusion to local communities the company partnered with the IKEA Foundation through a Swedish based NGO called Better Shelter around opportunities for impact. He said, “The project explores the feasibility of the Sustainable Housing Unit concept by deploying pilot units locally and testing their viability through a dedicated Research and Development partnership with local Research and Public institutions.”

Boshwaen said the units offer an alternative housing solution that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of people through its rapid deployment, solar renewable lighting, potential for rain water harvesting and use of local materials as value additions. “The unit demonstrates the use of technology for residential shelter development while taking into account local resources and has potential for a full scale production in the near future,” he said.

He said the units have excellent market viability with potential for the local market including, provision of durable shelter to remote and disadvantaged communities as well as individuals wishing to set up more durable shelters at their ploughing fields and construction sites. The unit offers an alternative to corrugated iron shelters that are currently in the market though cheaper and quicker to assemble.

“On a larger scale, the Sustainable Housing Unit lends itself to use by international organizations for displaced communities in the event of natural disasters such as floods and droughts or even in times of civil strife and war, because of the units rapid deployment features” he said.

Project Coordinator, Dr Tiroyaone Tshukudu said, “The Unit covers an area of 17.5 m2 with a width of approximately 3m and just under 6m long as well as featuring four small windows and one door. In addition, the unit is delivered to site as two packages of approximately 130 kg. Therefore it’s easily transported to the desired location. Once delivered, it takes about 4 hours to assemble.”

Giving a vote of thanks Kgosi Sekelere Kgope of Khekhenye thanked Botswana Innovation Hub for a donation that addresses one of the basic human needs – shelter. He said the donation will go a long way in restoring the dignity of the recipient and improving the life of one of the senior citizens resident in his village.

“It is heartwarming to see a company that does not just chase profits but also cares and does something to improve the quality of life of members of our communities,” he said.

Members of the community and BIH Representatives group photo