This morning, we will be making Compressed Stabilised Earth Bricks (CSEB). The stabiliser used is cement. Cement is one of the most pollutive material as it produces a lot of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. Hence conventional bricks are not very eco-friendly. Limestone can be used as a replacement for cement but it is not readily available in some countries and can be expensive.
We were shown how to make the earth bricks using a manual pressing machine. Marianna explained that because the builders in Nepal are familiar with using bricks to build houses rather than earth bags, earth bricks are more practical than earth bags since they could produce them in bulk to help rebuild the houses in Nepal.
We started by mixing the soil with cement. Then the mixture is poured into the machine and two persons would pull the metal lever down in order to compress the soil into a brick. Then the earth bricks would be left to dry in the sun.
5 buckets of soil and 2 buckets of cement.
Once the bricks are dry, it looks like a normal brick and can be used for building houses.
Sunday is a half day for us so we walked to the nearby town, Nawalpur. It’s a small town with some shops by the roadside. We had some momos (Nepalese dumplings) at a shop. By the way, our meals at the camp are vegetarian out of respect for the villagers as most of them are vegetarians.