home projects articles links who are we contact

Improving Lives: An Eco-Village In Liberia

Sustainability & environmental protection. A crucial part of our program is to build and provide the opportunity to live in a way that is stable, sustainable and maintains or repairs the natural environment that supports all of us and keeps us healthy. The most basic elements of this are designing with respect and consideration of the people, the animals, the plants, the water and earth that are part of our natural community. It is illusory to think that we can be healthy when the other creatures around us are dying or sick from what we are doing. We aim at systems where wastes from one activity become the food for another. For example, we aim for water conservation but at the same time we look to integrate our water use into the natural water cycles of our local environment. We aim to use sun, shade and wind as the most important elements for thermal comfort and light in our buildings. Constant values and practices include recycling, conservation, efficiency, and integration with the natural ecology.



What do we need to implement this? We have asked the Liberian government to provide the land for the project and access to local raw materials. We met with local people who need housing and they are prepared to provide the labor. We need a small amount of cash to buy things we cannot produce locally such as pipe, nails, cement and some tools. Groundwork has agreed to donate $100,000 in technical assistance through pro-bono work by its experts (click here for experts). Additional technical resources will be provided by the University of San Francisco and other educational institutions. The objective of the technical team is to phase itself out by transferring the necessary knowledge and skills to local people.


In short, very little cash or external input is required. What is required will be reduced over time. The project depends mainly on those resources that are within the country. We have proposed this to President Johnson-Sirleaf and she has proffered her support to the project and has sent it to the appropriate Ministry for action.


The challenge now, even with the President's support, is to effectively move the project forward with the limited human resources in the government agencies. This is no easy task and appears to be in part due to the sad reality that much of the civil service corps either fled the country or lost their lives in the civil war. It seems likely that it will take years to rebuild the human infrastructure of Liberia's public institutions. We are working with the government to address these problems by developing new personnel and improving the capabilities of existing personnel through the educational and job training components of our program.


If you would like to help with time, technical or material resources send an email to info@groundwork.org

or mail to: Groundwork Institute 2640 Silvercrest Street, Pinole CA 94564



home projects articles links who are we contact