A multimedia library, built from recycled plastic bottles by an African architect, was inaugurated late Tuesday in Kokrobite, a fishing community on the outskirts of the Ghanaian capital of Accra, providing schoolchildren from impoverished families with access to an array of learning resources.
The newly constructed building, which stands out from the many modest structures around it, was built using 45,000 recycled plastic bottles. Inside, the library is well-stocked with books covering topics from archaeology to zoology, as well as tablets and laptops fully connected to the Internet. The serene environment provides an ideal space for learning.
Martial Bruce Zohoungbogbo, who holds dual citizenship in Ghana and Benin, told Xinhua that he built the “bottle house” with funds raised by him and his wife, with the help of many locals from one of the least developed communities in the region, where most families rely on traditional fishing and struggle to afford better education for their children.
The building is primarily composed of two sizes of plastic bottles. The larger bottles, filled with soil and securely tied with ropes, were used as “bricks” for the walls, while the smaller bottles were layered to form columns. Martial described the structure as “waterproof, fire-resistant, bullet-proof, and earthquake-proof.”
Martial, who came to this community some 30 years ago, learned the technique of building architecture with plastic bottles from a German architect. After learning that local children had long been grappling with inadequate spaces and resources for learning, he decided to use his architectural expertise to make a difference.
Jane Zohoungbogbo, Martial’s wife and the chief executive officer of the Kokrobite Chiltern Center, a non-governmental organization, said the facility will greatly support academic work in the community.
“Children from communities like this don’t have many opportunities. But if you have an education, you have a choice, and then you are much more likely to have opportunities,” Jane said.
“The library is the first one we built with bottles, but it’s our second center. At our first center, we currently have about 50 children who come every afternoon during the week and up to about 140 or 150 on Saturday mornings,” she added.
The building has also boosted the community’s confidence in the future academic performance of their children. Dan Bright Abayateye, a teacher in the community, affirmed that the multimedia library will help children in the area excel in mathematics, science, and information and communication technology-related courses. “Students in the area could now take advantage of this modern library facility to learn and have a better future,” he said. Xinhua