A constant challenge when it comes to assisting communities in Africa is remoteness – some villages are simply a long way off the beaten track.

A case in point is Gombani Village in Venda, situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Set in the mountains close to the Zimbabwe border, the village is so remote that neighbouring villages are barely aware of its existence.

Traditionally, houses in the community were made from mud but a decision was taken to use more modern materials to extend the life of buildings in what can only be classified as a harsh environment. The idea of using a Hydraform blockmaking machine appealed because for the most part the community would still be using its own soil to build its houses – but the materials would have a far longer lifespan.

Furthermore, limiting the materials needed to be acquired from outside was a sensible approach to take for a village as remote as Gombani. Another benefit of opting for the Hydraform Building System is that previously unskilled men and woman could be trained to make blocks and construct their own houses as well as other buildings required by the community.