December 2013    –     Reed mat formwork prototype for Unit 1

  • The site in Amdework

    On first visit, at this time still overgrown with Eucalyptus trees.

  • Regional view

    Amdework in the middle of the highlands of Northern Amhara, close and similar to Tigray highlands: very rugged geography, which hinders infrastructural and construction works.

  • Site plan layout

    On the road from Lalibela to Amdework and Mamat, as a last stop. For now, Amdework is a dead end, even though Ethiopian government started construction of the road Gondar – Mamat – Amdework.

  • The site and the quarry

    The Quarry is situated around 200 meter from the site.

  • View from the site

    Qualitative landscape view, but harsh climatic conditions at 2900 meter high.

  • The site layout

    Made for phasing, the site layout allows to construct the process step by step.

  • Local Material Process: The quarry

    The quarry is located just 300 meters from the site, providing for local black stone, which is a very strong and heavy basalt stone.

  • Local material process: the Quarriers

    The quarriers pry out the black stone from the mountain in big volumes.

  • Local material process: the stone splitters and chiselers

    After quarrying the stones, they are split into smaller entities, and then chiseled in right proportions at the quarry for direct us on site.

  • Local material process: donkey transport

    Chiseled stones are transported to the site by donkeys, the most cost-effective and efficient transport in the Amhara mountains.

  • Local material process: masonry

    After quarrying and transport, the stones are used for dry and mortared masonry, building extra capacity upon the skills of local masons.

  • Local material process: output

    With 4 quarriers, 8 chiselers, 6 labourers, 4 masons, 4 masonhelpers, 4 donkeys, an output of 2,5 m3 masonry for 2650 Birr (120 Euro) a day is reached.

  • Platform

    Platform 2, to be used by community as public and socio-economic space.

  • Platform detail

    Black basalt dry stone walling with weeping hole

Amdework Guesthouse

The project is initiated in 2010 by the DEHANA AMDEWORK FOUNDATION (‘DAF’, ET), created by four Ethiopian citizen born in the small town of Amdework-Dehana. LSDG has been contacted through the intermediary of Wout Soer (now World Bank consultant in Addis) who knew the village from his experience as a SNV volunteer more than 25 years ago. The design work has further been developed in collaboration with two young architects of  a Belgian architectural research office Brussels Cooperation Studies (BCs), together with two  young Ethiopian architects momentarily living in Belgium.

Amdework-Dehana, now the county-town of a vast mountainous region North of Ethiopia, benefits from an Altitude Tropical Climate, set on a dead end dirt road at 2700m altitude with a population estimated at 10.000. It has recent access to electricity and water pumped from the valley and it is therefore under tremendous demographic pressure with migration from less hospitable villages.

LSDG has identified the first projects it will support for the Foundation, in accordance with local and regional authorities met regularly since November 2010, which are:

Phase One

The Amdework Guest house: a community guest house allowing for welcoming NGO’s, officials, teachers and family from afar, where there is no one day return possibility due to distances and where population’s pride is at stake in welcoming the actors of their roadmap to development.

Phase Two

-The Amdework Nursery and primary schools, new and extension projects to respond to educational requirements of over 60% of the population being under 12.

Phase three

-The Amdework public toilet programme, aiming at providing progressive sanitation, with a number of grouped toilets providing fertilizer, water and cooking gas.

The Guest house answers the necessity of welcoming visitors in Amdework-Dehana. The current accessibility to the town is limited to one sinuous track linking through mountain landscape to Sekota, difficult to drive in one day return. Current requirement is to provide overnight stay for officials, NGO’s and temporary accommodation for teachers, specialists or visiting families. The team of Local Solutions Development Group has also identified the potential benefit for family reunions, celebrations, weddings as well as a potential for Eco-Tourism.
The guest house is directly accessible from Amdework’s main road entrance and will be facing North-West, towards the infinite landscape while keeping in visual contact with the town across what could happily become a public park on the opposite side of the anticlinal valley it borders. Sited on the north-west facing slope amongst some mature vegetation, the Guest house is designed in separate modules of 2 or 3 rooms and a main hall/restaurant.
Simple cut and fill groundwork, carefully located to maintain vegetation and chosen slope, al- lows for common external areas around the hall while the rooms sit on a narrow terrace carved out of the hill.




  •  December 2013    –     Careful chiseling basalt stones

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