The project started when we heard about the village of Wegnerki from Hebret and the partnership she established with this community four years ago in order to build one day an eco-tourism center. Nowadays, we are organizing a fundraiser to achieve successfully this project and enable a fresh start.
THE KEY POINTS OF OUR PROJECT:
Dynamic, confident and creative, Francois and Philippe are two young architects who decided to get involved in an Ethiopian project in which they could practice their passion for construction.
Building of an eco-friendly tourism center composed of different architectural programs adapted to local needs and uses:
- Reception area: information and discussion point between tourists and the community
- Cultural center: meeting and teaching areas where traditional dances and songs could be learned.
- Sales area: a place to display and sell local arts and crafts
- Witness thatched cottage: museum
- Livestock area - biogas: a place where the livestock wastes will be salvaged in order to produce biogas, used for cooking and lighting
- Equipped thatched cottages for visitors.
- Educational space: tutoring in the current school (elementary level)
- Clinic: make the access to treatments and flesh wounds easier for the inhabitants of the village and the surroundings.
- Plantation center of indigenous trees.
FOR WHO ?
For both the Hamers, an Ethiopian community, living traditionally in harmony with their ecosystem and the tourists visiting this region in an appropriate way. The construction of roads leads to important comings and goings of tourists and thus exposes the Hamers to a fast modernization potentially harmful to their way of life.
Creation of the cultural center “Hamer Camp”: a pilot project aiming at protecting the cultural and social heritage of the Hamer-Bena region, actually inhabited by 6 different ethnic groups. It will organize the tourism activity by providing protection and promotion of both tangible and intangible rich cultural diversity of the population.
The creation of this cultural area will contribute to improvement of human health by interacting on the environmental, economic, social and cultural factors. It will also help the population to become the main actor in the tourism development and thus take benefit from it on both economical and cultural aspects. Grar-Acacia will work in cooperation with Wegnerki community who remain aware of the urgent need to protect the environment and the social heritage.
The center will be created in the village of Wegnerki, a hamlet located in the Hamer-Bena area, which is not too far from the road link leading to Mago Park and others touristic destinations in the south of Ethiopia. This strategic location is expected to attract more visitors.
The village of Wegnerki is located 3km from the city of Turmi, a small urban area gathering the unique markets of the region for 1087 inhabitants. The village is reachable by one road connecting the north to the south. Mago national park is located around 60km from there and it remains an important nature reserve.
The exploration trip is planned for March 2014 and should last at least 45 days, as detailed below:
- Stay in Adis Ababa in several communities living in self-sufficiency.
- Visits of biogas installation
- Long stay in the community of Wegnerki while we will:
- Study of the site
- Soil and local materials resources surveys
- Constructive tests
- Getting in touch with the labour of the village in order to develop self-construction
Beginning of the construction in June 2014
As architects, we are investigating on the local construction techniques and combining them with both our vision and our knowledge on the contemporary architecture.
Kindly find below some drawings created for the project in order to illustrate examples of traditional Ethiopian constructions.
The architecture is composed of local materials not really transformed, branches, wattles and daubs, dry stones and thatch techniques well-controlled by Ethiopians.
Here are a few representations of the construction technics that we plan to use for the project:
Communicating and creating partnerships ?
We would like to create a partnership with our architecture school, called ESA, in order to organize exchanges between students and communicate through exhibitions and conferences in the school.
In order to get more details on the project and the association, feel free to visit the following website...
The website of the project: Grar Acacia Ethiopia