Chinwe Ohajuruka is a real inspiration in the field of green building solutions in Africa. She engineers and builds affordable green houses that are both energy and resource-efficient. Her 3 degrees in architecture and 3 accreditations in green building, led to the creation of Comprehensive Design Services, a company that provides comprehensive solutions to complex problems.
Back in 2011, she took leave from her job in the USA to voluntarily assist with the establishment of the Green Council in Nigeria. This position required significant research on social, environmental and financial aspects of the Nigerian economy.
It was then that she became aware of the significant housing deficit in the country, as well as the extent of the power, water and sanitation crisis. With a growing population of around 175 million inhabitants, Nigeria faces a massive housing, energy and water crisis. Most of the population lives in poor conditions and does not have access to electricity or sanitation. There is a housing deficit of 17 million units and only 40% of the population has access to power. Houses usually lack basic equipment such as toilets or running water.
Chinwe’s company, Comprehensive Design Services, aims to find sustainable solutions to this problem by creating affordable, green housing in the country. Her house designs are solar powered, self cooling, and source water right from beneath the feet of the house occupants. Not only that, she produces designs that people can take and build themselves, because 96% of the houses built in Nigeria are self built.
Chinwe’s idea helped her win the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award for the Africa region. Here is a short interview with Chinwe