Images of Southern Africa - Lesotho housing

Lesotho: contrasts in housing (wood and tin)

Attempts to design housing in more ‘westernised’ styles - with rectangular buildings made of wood, and galvanised tin roofs and glass windows - have been much less successful in Lesotho. Such buildings are colder in winter and much hotter in summer. In addition, wood and tin houses are not able to withstand the strong winds experienced in the area and require a lot of attention if they are to remain upright. This particular house has been weighed down with large boulders and ropes.

Ideas for further exploration:

  • What are the advantages of constructing round rather than rectangular houses and making use of local community labour?
  • This building was donated by a non-governmental organisation and is clearly inappropriate in terms of the needs of the people and the local environment. How might you determine the needs of the local people and environmental conditions to ensure that any aid given is appropriate?

See also Lesotho housing 1


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