Thesis Project on Feasibility of CSEB for Infrastructure Development in Karagwe, Tanzania

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Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Sweden and Mavuno, a non-profit organization in Tanzania, have a long-standing collaboration over the past years. EWB has helped the locals of Tanzania with education, water, sanitation and energy issues affecting the local communities. Recently, there has been a proposal to implement Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks (CSEB) in the infrastructure development of the Karagwe district in Tanzania. Implementation of CSEB has the potential to empower low-income communities in Karagwe through sustainable construction methods as well as providing entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. Hence, EWB Sweden is looking for one or more students to study the feasibility of implementing CSEB for the future construction in Karagwe.



EWB Sweden has collaborated with the non-profit organization Build Up Nepal to implement CSEB in Nepal since 2016. CSEB has proven to be remarkably successful in constructing earthquake-resilient structures in Nepal and creating opportunities for local entrepreneurship in the marginalized rural areas. Build Up Nepal is interested to know if their methods can be applied elsewhere to help communities in other countries as well. Karagwe has been identified as a possible region to expand to. CSEB has already been tested in many parts of Tanzania and Africa has developed a building code for CSEB.


Karagwe is one of the poorest regions in Tanzania and opportunities for employment for the locals are scarce. Developing a small-scale facility for production of CSEB could produce local jobs and aid the construction of local schools and hospitals in the area. Traditionally, most of the buildings are constructed using burnt clay bricks in Tanzania. This method of construction is not environmentally sustainable. EWB needs help to study the feasibility of CSEB and to formulate a strategy for implementation of the technique in Karagwe.


About Mavuno

Mavuno is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life in the rural areas of Karagwe and Kyerwa in northwestern Tanzania. Mavuno works with a variety of initiatives to strengthen the local community. Mavuno has been active in the area for 25 years and has strong support and high confidence from the local community.


About Build up Nepal

Build up Nepal (BuN) is working to introduce environmentally friendly Interlocking CSEB in Nepal. BuN supports rural entrepreneurs and communities to make their own eco-friendly Interlocking Bricks and build earthquake resistant. The organization started in 2015 after the devastating Gorkha earthquake. BuN is now scaling this effective model for reconstruction by rebuilding new and safe homes using local sustainable materials and empowering the local communities.


About EWB Sweden

Engineers Without Borders Sweden works to address challenges linked to the Sustainable Development Goals, both in Sweden and around the globe. Through improvements in education, equality, energy poverty and access to water and sanitation we strive to make a sustainable and long-term impact with our work, for local communities and the Earth as a whole.


Scope of the Thesis

Suggested topics for this study include:

  • Outlining the requirements of the local community in Karagwe
  • Mapping out the local soil structure and its viability for use as raw material for CSEB
  • Studying the requirement for stabilization and suitability of different stabilizing agents like cement, lime, stone dust or other pozzolanic materials
  • Survey for availability of machinery, stabilizing agents, testing facility and infrastructure for the local production of CSEB
  • Developing a framework for creating entrepreneurship opportunities and for knowledge transfer to the local community, in alignment with seismic and building requirements as per Tanzanian building codes



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