Urban waste management: NGO introduces green roofing for flood victims

CEO of Gulbahao Trust, Nargis Latif, sees garbage as a resource for innovative inventions.

News Desk August 04, 2013
Gulbahao Trust initially produced silver blocks from recycled waste material but now they are introducing lightweight prefabricated blocks for flood disasters. PHOTO: COURTESY GULBAHAO

Garbage dumps in the city are viewed as nuisance by the citizens, but the founding CEO of Gulbahao Trust, Nargis Latif, sees garbage as a resource for innovative inventions.

“We are not only providing effective waste management but also solutions to societal problems,” said Latif. “We use all the waste materials in our products, even the ones that are usually not touched by waste collectors.”

Gulbahao is a non-governmental organisation that collects dumped waste and recycles it into functional products. It initially made flooring blocks from the recycled material to help the earthquake victims. “The roof blocks were heavy and were not functional during floods caused by heavy rain,” said Latif while talking to The Express Tribune. She said that her team researched for the last four months for a light-weight waterproof solution for flood victims and finally thought about using the material, which was used to make furniture for roof blocks.

“Our prefabricated roofing made of recycled material can be used to preempt disasters, such as flooding, caused by heavy rainfall.” She said that the light-weight blocks can make sloping roof, a tent-like structure, which can also be easily assembled and dismantled. “The waste used to make these blocks is waterproof and it is also a low-cost solution.” Latif said that she is hopeful that businessmen can use these innovations, “We are willing to show the production process to the interested entities so that this recycling technology can be adopted.”

The environment museum, which is run by the Gulbahao trust, is planning to show the lightweight prefabricated roof blocks in the near future. “I want people to be aware about their environment and to see the innovations that can be produced from recycling waste materials,” said Latif.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2013.


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