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Self-build housing

The context

Can you imagine building your own house at the age of 16?

This is the challenge that faces Maasai women living in the Kajiado district of Kenya, where young women are responsible for designing and building their family home using skills that they learn from watching and helping their own mothers. According to a local saying, ‘the most important day in a woman’s life is the day she builds her first home’.

The Maasai people are traditionally nomadic - they live in one place for a few months and then move somewhere new. Most families are herders, with their own cattle, sheep and goats. In keeping with this lifestyle, the traditional Maasai house is a temporary shelter, only designed to last for a few months.

Click on the next cog to find out more about how the Maasai women go about building their traditional homes.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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