Phioneers’ Solution to Affordable Housing in The Gambia

Feb 2021 | Makers of Multipliciti

What does Phioneers do?

We create unimaginable realities through sustainable and eco-friendly architecture, engineering and technology. In layman’s terms we find the most sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges related to infrastructure and development.

What inspired you to start Phioneers?

A combination of being able to live in and visit many developing countries plus my love for engineering and technology inspired me to be the change I want to see in the world by using my knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems.

Gambian Village

What are some of the biggest challenges to develop affordable housing in The Gambia?

  1. The average price of a newly built home in The Gambia is not affordable to those on low incomes. This is because of many reasons including the labour costs and the cost of materials.
  2. The rate at which large areas of land are being cleared to accommodate the demand for housing is not sustainable as a lot of natural resources and habitat are being destroyed. Large areas of forests are being cleared to create construction materials and large areas of beach are being cleared to make construction sand. In a nutshell, the environment is taking a big hit.
Rainforest in The Gambia

Unclear land rights in sub-saharan Africa are the biggest obstacles to developing affordable housing; how will Phioneers solve this problem?

Often, land purchases happen without the right legal documents and this causes future disputes between two or more parties who all claim ownership of the same area. In other cases, where dictatorships exist, land gets snatched by force with no chance of reclaiming the land. This happens mostly when the land is in an area where a major project is being planned.

In the past two decades, we have seen rapid urbanization in Asia that has led to economic growth as well as environmental issues. Do you think Sub-Saharan Africa’s road to urbanization will be different?

I think the main differences will be in the materials and technologies used. Each continent has been blessed with its own ancient, traditional and modern building techniques that were and are very much based on the materials available locally.

Three Gorges Dam in China’s Hubei Province

What are some of the traditional building techniques that you want to preserve when developing affordable housing in The Gambia?

I am a fan of history and looking back to 1000s of years ago when some of the World’s greatest wonders were built including the Great Pyramids in Egypt. This is proof that the knowledge and skills were largely available and Africa did not need to build “the western way” as it had its own methods and techniques.

Kassena House in Burkina Faso
Clay House in The Gambia

Other than affordable housing solutions, will Phioneers provide any other services to help boost the local economy?

Yes indeed, the affordable housing solution is only a piece of the bigger picture.

Describe to us your dream African city

A city that is totally sustainable in terms of its infrastructure, water supply, energy sources and other systems like waste management. A city that is all run efficiently and sustainably with a very low impact on the environment. A city that can keep its social fabric but accommodate the demand for new infrastructure. This is my dream African city, and we will build a few and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Multipliciti is thrilled to announce that it has entered a strategic partnership with Phioneers Ltd. to power eco-friendly architecture & sustainable development.

manufacture future buildings