Brickmaking at Shine Village

mud bricks which are common building materials in our area

Hydro-form brick production.

Over the past six months, the families in local communities surrounding Shine Village have pulled together to support each other. Many lost their homes or the damage caused has resulted in a complete rebuild needed. All our buildings were constructed using locally produced fired bricks. Going forward hydro-form bricks made at Shine Village will ensure we build even stronger structures to stand the test of the changing climate. The project will also reduce the cost of building as well as provide employment to local laborers. Vulnerable families connected to Shine community projects will have access to this alternative building materials as the project develops.

Shine Relief to provide bricks to the local community

Families in our region build using the mud around them pressed into molds which are dried in the heat of the day. Ideally, the bricks should be fired to make them stronger, however, most families can not afford the firewood needed to do this. As you can imagine homes built using unfired bricks are very much at risk of collapse during the heavy rainy conditions seen more often in Malawi. A tin roof that offers more protection is expensive and therefore most continue to roof their homes with plastic sheeting and straw.

Life in a mud hut

The rainy season in the south of Malawi generally lasts four months, bringing with it heavy downpours.

Most homes are 1-2 room structures. Most store bikes, maize, and other items were they sleep. When it rains the thatched roofs soon leak and the walls become soon soaked. Homes just crumble. Since the flood, some families have needed to cook inside the house as their outside kitchen collapsed. Smoke fills the rooms. The mud-floor is impossible to keep clean making illness a fact of life.

“When it rains, we need to pack up all our things as if we were going away. This is to protect our belongings from getting wet.”

Heavy downpours can hit suddenly and items left out like children’s school books are simply ruined them completely. Constant rains take its toll on mud-walled pit latrines, too. Toilet floors become rotten and finally collapse completely. The children are constantly sick with coughs, chest infections and diarrhoea because of their poor living conditions.

You can give a one-off gift to help Shine’s work with vulnerable families or set a standing order with a monthly amount. See below for more details or visit our donate page.

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