We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality education. A fundamental factor to this is a high-standard place of learning. We believe that by using innovative, sustainable methods we can create exceptional learning spaces in Malawi.

Earthbag Building:

Earthbag building is an innovative and sustainable building technique that  addresses the ‘triple bottom line’, because it is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. By its essence, Earthbag building is low impact, low cost and fosters the creation of employment.

The Earthbag building system uses Earthbags- polypropylene bags filled with soil- that are then stacked one on top of the other to build stable walls.  

After trialling Earthbag building with huge success at Mlambe School, we now aim to replicate the technique across other sites in Malawi in order to obtain a perfect building model.

Earthbag Benefits:



The total cost of construction is reduced compared to traditional/conventional techniques.



One of Malawi’s major environmental concerns (see World Bank Development Indicators) – is vastly reduced as trees do not need to be cut down to create burnt bricks.



The method is highly labour intensive so much more of the funds are used on wages than on materials. This means a much higher percentage of the money used stays within the local economy. The building skills required are also teachable by any trained Earthbag builders.

What We Have Achieved:

When we first visited The Mlambe School in 2012, there was just one school block and most lessons were taught outside under a tree.

The Mlambe School now has:

  • 3 school blocks (each with two classrooms) and a 4th school block being built.
  • 4 earthbag teachers’ houses
  • 1 earthbag computer room
  • 2 earthbag store room
  • Pit latrines
  • Compost toilets

Our Building Programme’s Director on Earthbags

The benefits of Earthbag construction are many. Its a highly sustainable method, as your main building resource is the very earth on which you’re building. This also keeps costs low, and as its a low-tech method needing little specialist kit, your main costs are your local workforce – keeping the money in the local economy. Its also an easy technique to learn, allowing you to train anyone who’s keen! Earthbag walls are thick, keeping the interior nice and cool, and with a little care they last for a long long time! There are still earth structures standing from centuries ago!
Steve Lovejoy, The Mlambe Project