Basic Habitability

Why is it Important?

In 2020, a third of the population lived in precarious habitability conditions, both in urban and rural settings. Today, more than 1 billion people live in urban slums, which  is 24% of the world’s urban population.

“Basic habitability is not only guaranteeing shelter, it is guaranteeing a habitable space, where in addition to that safe shelter there is access to basic services such as energy, water, sanitation, waste management, among others, as well as access to education and health , which together stop habitability from being precarious”    Belén Gesto Barroso.

Our Objective

Guarantee the minimum basic habitability in the different African populations, improving their living conditions and supporting their own development, through multidisciplinary projects and collaborative actions with special  attention on people in vulnerable situations.

Get to know our Projects


Evaluation and development of sustainable technologies with local resources in Turkana.

Evaluation and development of sustainable technologies with local resources in Turkana.


Participatory Planning

Participatory Planning


Schools in the Guéra region

Schools in the Guéra region

Sierra Leone

Orphanage/school in the Ma-Tindi rural community.

Orphanage/school in the Ma-Tindi rural community.


Project “El Mina” in Nouakchott


Get to know our Programs

Habitáfrica Program


Development of safer, healthier, livable, sustainable and productive human settlements that meet the needs of people and ensure a decent future.

Development of safer, healthier, livable, sustainable and productive human settlements that meet the needs of people and ensure a decent future.

 The project seeks the self-construction of a habitable place with 206 housing solutions, equipment and the installation of a workshop for the production of small construction elements, generating 35 jobs.

The chosen residential plot has a rectangular shape, 20 m wide by 50 m deep (1,000 m2 of surface). The plots are attached on their sides in two rows of 5 units, and each of these rows by the fronts, thus giving a set of 1 ha residential block unit, 10 plots and 10 families. The shape of the plot thus has a ratio to depth of 2/5, ideal, in order to minimize the networks that facilitate low-cost urbanization, as well as, what is more important, possible subsequent developments towards its densification such as more urban settlements.

Four areas of preferential use are established within the plot:

  • A 10 x 10 m square located with one of its sides in front of the facade and another in a lateral, in which the buildings will be erected, both the house and the latrine.
  • A preferential work area, adjacent to the buildings and also facing the street, of 50 m2.
  •  Two longitudinal areas 2.5 m apart from each of the sides of the façade where two rows of fruit trees will be located in a line (7 on the side of the house and 10 on the opposite side).
  • The rest of the plot, 850 m2, which includes the soil under the fruit trees, is made up of the family orchards of agricultural exploitation for self-consumption.

Project to improve the living conditions of the population of precarious neighborhoods of Nouakchott.

The aim is to improve the living conditions of the Rajaa neighborhood in the Commune of Riyad, Nouakchott, through the construction of social housing and service infrastructures, promoting participatory structures of social organization and supporting the implementation of municipal and government policies in matters of habitat. For this, the project foresees actions, such as training in construction,  workshops for the production of construction materials, creation of solidarity aid groups (Twiza), training in the management (distribution, storage and treatment) of  water, and implementation of a microcredit system. Regarding Urban Planning: 422 plots, in their totality a density of 37 dwellings / Ha, 3 rectangular blocks. It recalls the growth of the traditional Islamic city, which is built from the house, the public spaces being the result of its formation.

The projected architectural model is a typically Islamic typology (the courtyard house), around progressive growth that adapts to the dimensions of the plot and the economic resources of the beneficiaries. The vaults, made of concrete and plaster blocks, constitute a basic module that allows the growth of the house and therefore determines the grid of pillars.

Support to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia to achieve decent living conditions in disadvantaged populations in Namibia.

In the Henties Bay settlement, the use of cement-stabilized earth blocks was tested for the first time in walls and roofs of mortar tiles, all produced by the beneficiaries. The degree of acceptance of these materials has been positive and has allowed reducing costs. The degree of participation of the beneficiaries in the construction varied according to the settlements, although the auxiliary tasks (excavation of foundations, manufacture of blocks, etc.) were carried out by the beneficiaries. For the rest of the work, external professionals were hired, the beneficiary himself being the assistant (if he had a job, he hired an external assistant). This method achieved a double objective: to lower construction costs and for the beneficiaries to acquire construction knowledge.

In Henties Bay, 8 blocks were built by a professional bricklayer, the result of collaboration with the local NGO Clay House Project. The fundamental problem in this locality was the complete lack of motivation and participation of the beneficiaries, coupled with a savings capacity well below the average. The use of adobe as a construction material, which at the beginning was a problem of acceptance, also played a negative role, despite the fact that it meant a very large reduction in the housing budget and in its consequent accessibility for people with few resources.

Cooperation participating groups