Would you live in a house made out of bottles? No, for real. Especially if it means getting around the high cost of real estate in Ghana? Paul Coffie and Toa House certainly hope so.
Toa is Ashanti Twi for a bottle. As direct as translations go, Toa House is literally Bottle House. The affordable structures are made primarily out of sand and plastic bottles.
The technique we currently adopt is to use the bottles just as they are, filled with sand to build. These bottles are about 13 inches thick. This is in stark contrast to the standard blocks of just 3 inches and these make the Toa houses virtually bulletproof.Paul Coffie, interview with Meqasa.com
Not too sure about the practicality of being bulletproof. The idea for Toa House came to Paul after his stint at a waste recycling company he joined right after school. He suggested innovative and eco-friendly applications for the bottles beyond just exporting such as making tiles, roofing sheets, and building houses. But as it is with the crazy dope ideas, his bosses didn’t bite.
He took matters into his own hands and hopped to Kenya where he learned from another company that was also building affordable houses with plastic. 6-months later, Toa House was born.
Fast forward to about 3 years later, Paul and his team are hard at work on the Toa Village. Toa aims to become the leading provider of affordable homes in Ghana and Africa. The only major hurdle now is changing people’s mindsets about living in a brick and mortar house, which is like everywhere you go in urban melting pots like Accra.
See photos of Toa House at the end of this post.
Paul Coffie, Toa House & the Africanacity Campaign
Paul Coffie Bebobru Jnr, the visionary behind Toa House was recently featured in the AfricanaCity campaign, which also spotlights Bernice Dapaah (who’s building bamboo bicycles to help children get to school in Ghana).
The campaign by Absa Bank Ghana is highlighting “the distinctly African ability to always find a way to get things done.”
This film is a celebration of tenacity and ingenuity. It’s a demonstration of our uniquely African way to solve problems. It’s about the way we get things done. It’s ‘Africanacity’ in action.Absa Bank
Watch the short spot featuring Paul Coffie of Toa House below.