Under construction in the tropical rainforest of Cameroon, Warka Village is an integrated space for the Pygmy community, an isolated society located in the Mvoumagomi area. Constructed using only natural materials and ancient local construction techniques, the project, created by Warka Water and Italian architect Arturo Vittori, is currently operational, and expected to be completed in 2022.
Situated in Mvoumagomi, about 40 km from Kribi in the south region of Cameroon, the Warka village is destined for the Pygmy community, a gathering of villagers who live in groups of 30 people on average, 100 people at most. Deep in the tropical rainforest, this community is often cut off from nearby towns because of dangers from flooding.
Using material like earth, water, stone, wood, and natural fibers, “the Warka village aspires to transform the landscape of comprehensive human development, utilizing low-cost, sustainable, community-driven, high-impact multi-sector development interventions that are tailored to the village’s specific needs”. An example of how to live with nature, the village encompasses different Warka interventions. It will generate 7 bamboo Warka houses, 2 Warka towers to collect around 40 to 80 liters every day of drinking water from the air, no flushing Warka sanitation systems using composting toilets, a Warka garden to harvest food and a Warka pavilion.
With already 30 individuals living and working on the premises, the village is taking shape, addressing the daily needs of the villagers. Ensuring rural infrastructure, agriculture, health, water, and sanitation, the project, under construction for the past 18 months, seeks to provide essential living services. In fact, protecting the community is protecting the rainforest, according to Arturo Vittori.
Warka Water is a nonprofit focused on innovative and sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s most enduring issues through the fusion of local knowledge and resources, visionary design, and ancient traditions. Founded by Italian architect Arturo Vittorio, this organization aims to bring “potable water, and proper sanitation and hygiene to some of the world’s most isolated communities”.
Using ancient knowhow, Warka Tower, the first pilot project of the organization, allows people to harvest water from the sky. This sustainable approach was first installed in Ethiopia in early 2015. “It is a passive structure, it functions only by natural phenomena such as gravity, condensation & evaporation. It is conceived to be owned and operated autonomously by the villagers. The design is not universal but it depends on the local meteorological conditions, the geomorphological characteristic of the site, and the local culture”.
Shortly after, the non-profit realized that similar issues were unfortunately present in other communities in different geographical areas. Currently active in Cameroon where they are constructing the Warka Village, the team is also undertaking the first steps to bring help to different isolated communities in places such as Haiti, Togo, and Colombia.