Teen turns industrial waste into houses for the needy

Teen turns industrial waste into houses for the needy

Dubai - Figures from the United Nations show that 60 per cent of people in Zambia live below the poverty line.

By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Sat 14 Sep 2019, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 Sep 2019, 1:20 AM

An Indian student in Dubai is building homes for the underprivileged in Zambia by using industrial waste.
Kabir Malholtra, 18, was working as an intern at a ferromanganese plant in Zambia last year when he discovered that he could use the scraps to build homes for the needy.
Now, he works side by side with the factory so he can use their industrial waste for a good cause.
Figures from the United Nations show that 60 per cent of people in Zambia live below the poverty line, and child deprivation in rural areas is very high.
"BuildMyHome is a nonprofit organisation I founded last year, aiming to provide shelter to underdeveloped neighbourhoods by utilising the steel industry's discarded slag as a primary material in the production of concrete bricks," said Malhotra, who attends the Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills.
He noticed that most villagers still live in fragile mud huts.
"The mud bricks used by the natives are also tremendously unhygienic due to copious amounts of bacteria and constant leakages," he said.
"Furthermore, the bricks only last from two months to two years depending on the soil's composition, needing constant maintenance. Forty per cent of the bricks don't make it through the last stage of formation, and so the strenuous effort goes in vain."
After conducting various experiments, Malhotra learnt that he could actually use the industrial waste to create sturdy bricks for them.
"Instead of opting for mud bricks, concrete bricks can be produced using disposed ferroalloy slag as a primary ingredient."
His concrete bricks are not only more durable, these also don't absorb as much moisture. Studies show these bricks can last approximately 40 years, he said.
In action
This summer, Malhotra paired up with two silicomanganese factories within Kanona, Zambia, and has been using their slag to build bricks.
He and his team have built eight 10x12ft concrete houses over the last three months, and they are aiming to finish 20 before the end of year. They're also hoping to establish the very first durable society in Kanona. "Once the project is completed, approximately 60 to 80 people would be able to live in a durable house.
Malholtra plans on starting the same operations in Vishakhapatman, India, and Abu Dhabi's Kizad industrial area. He aims to turn more hazardous waste into durable housing for people in need.

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