Saturday, October 31, 2009

How houses are built in Mungassa

I found it interesting to see how houses are built in Mungassa. I find the houses interesting here because each one is very unique and has a lot of character.  Here is the process on how they are made:


They start by making a skeleton with wood and bamboo and then fill it with rocks.


Once the walls are full with rocks, they usually put a roof on the house.  The roof is usually made of straw (thatched) but I’d say that about 30% of the roofs are now made with zinc, which lasts longer and doesn’t leak as much as thatched roofs.



Here is another example of a zinc roof.


This is the thatched roof.


To finalize the house, one must mix mud (or if fortunate, cement) and throw it against the house until it is all covered.  Then they make it smooth as shown in the picture of the mud finish above.


This builder is throwing cement on the house that he is building.  It will last much longer this way.


Many people are now turning to the use of cement blocks to build their houses in Mungassa. This way of construction is preferred but more expensive so only some have this luxury.


  1. Though more expensive they look more sturdy. I know that in parts of South Africa the houses were more like huts not very good construction and when the rains came in the spring it would often wash many peoples houses away. Thanks for your message on Facebook. Happy Halloween!

  2. How very very interesting! Love it! This reminds me of seeing how they do houses in the Masai villages. Maybe there were rocks between but all we saw was the women kneading the cow dung in the morning as soon as the animals were let out (they were protected in the village circle from lions overnight) and then slapping that cow dung onto their houses and smoothing it out every morning. Pretty ingenious these people are!