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Improving Lives: An Eco-Village In Liberia

We see a more secure and more immediate path to improving the life of the average Liberian by creating a community and housing in a way that reduces the need for cash and imported materials and relies almost exclusively on local resources -- the material and human resources that are immediately available in Liberia. This option is largely independent of the ups and downs of the international economy. It can be realized in a relatively short period of time and with very little cash. It is largely within the control of Liberians themselves.


$300 house in Nicaragua (click picture for larger image)

Example. Groundwork was able to do a similar project in Nicaragua (details here) where, working with a dairy cooperative, we built a 1000 sq. ft. (100 m2) house with $300 in cash. Almost everything in the house and subsequent houses was created with the cooperative’s own labor and with raw materials that were available locally. The $300 cash cost was for the few things we couldn’t produce locally and had to buy: a few sacks of lime and cement, nails and some tools.


Our goal in Liberia is more ambitious in that we aim to build a whole community and address food as well as housing. We will design the community to be largely self-sufficient in food. With minimal cash and relying mostly on local resources we can provide clean water, good sanitation, good housing and a substantial part of people’s food. This goes a long way toward improving people’s lives. Building this community with people’s own labor also contributes to a human community that is perhaps the most important element of a good life.


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