I (Chibuike) remember when David, Simeon and I were coming back from school 10 Years ago, we picked up a bundle of waste plastic dump just few meters away from David’s house, and we thought about how we could make something out of it since the plastics were not like the regular ones we see around every day. First this was David’s idea to make use of the plastics.
We have read in the library before that time a fictional story of how a kid made his dream come through by building something out of nothing. This was our motivation as we desire to impact the world and become part of the achievers in our then Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientist Club, JETs club innovators
We took off from there as we utilized the waste plastic to make our intended spaceship for our science project which almost functioned as this day drone. That was how our journey began.
Image source: www.krokotok.com
Image description: an illustrative image showing a look alike of the founder’s first project
It was just fun then as we became celebs overnight and the school recognized our invention and we took it to the next level as we started our JUPITER club which was basically created to bring together kids like us who were interested in space travel to keep the vision running and growing. Excitedly we made a whole lot of money as we sold our inventions to our fellow students who just wants to keep our inventions around them as toy.
Image source: original copy of the founder
Image description: an image showing a picture taken during the first mathematics and Jupiter club photo 10years ago with the founder and members of his club.
We never took it serious until the death of David which was a blow in my life- our key person in all the inventions so far. It was like a joke to me the first time hearing the news as we just watched on TV that the rain that fell that night has taken the lives of some individual with some not accounted for at the mean time.
This was usually a common News especially during rainy sessions. I slept like a normal person that night but waking up to hear that David’s body was one of the dead bodies found few Kilometers away from his house. First time of receiving the news, I was in shock but at the same time in doubt as I and David just saw that day, the day of his demise before the rain started and most of all, we were in his altogether that day in his own house, David’s house.
I didn’t believe David was gone until I saw his dead body face to face during his funeral the next day after his death. That deep reality dawned on me and that was the first time I’m seeing someone’s body complete with two eye, legs hand and everything but dead. I tried calling his name to know whether he could answer but the tradition doesn’t allow that.
The most devastating part of the story was the report released by NEMA that the flooding swept David and his two siblings right inside their house. Terrible not to find David’s house again including two of his siblings who were also the victims of the deadly flooding was enough for me to fall into depression.
David lives in a house made of different funny material like you can see in the picture below and located in a slum area filled with garbage.
Image source: pinterest.com
Image description: closest online resemblance of the kind of place David stayed before the flooding.
Report also shows that the drainage system was blocked due to this garbage that are being thrown inside with the hope that one day if rains falls, it will take away these trash but little did they know that the trash has being blocking a major water way that leads to the river Niger.
David was very bright and some part of him I remember gave me a perspective for the future of space travel in Africa. David didn’t deserve that early obituary, no 13year old deserved it, nobody deserved that kind of careless death. But disappointedly, till today, hundreds and hundreds of person keep dying of the same thing that killed David in 2012 every single year in Nigeria.
Image source: founder’s copy
Image description: a present state of David’s neighborhood still in an unpleasant state.
10years has passed and it seems like we are still not paying attention to this but writing this today on our website gives me joy and that the problem that I witnessed growing up as a little kid has a solution and the most interesting part is that, ASTRAE is a major part of the solution.
Image source: founder’s copy
Image description: A leftover of the flooding showing a house sunk 5.7ft into the ground in David’s area
Astrae was born out of the burning desire to ensure and to solve the problem in which approximately 2000 children who die yearly of flooding due to drainage blockage is tackled effectively. Firstly, Astrae wants to take care of garbage at the door point of the waste generator to ensure that the first move of this garbage at taken care of primarily by us than trusting it to waste disposal companies who end up dropping waste collected into the river.
Then secondly we want to utilize the waste collected from our service to make our mission statement a reality. Just like the death of David was caused by drainage blockage, we would ensure through our door point waste collection service that this waste collected from our subscribers go to the right place.
And like David’s own shelter wasn’t an assurance for safety against withstanding the magnitude of flooding which swept their house off with them inside simply because they can’t afford the basic building materials used for construction we are upcycling plastic waste into building materials like roof tiles, interlocking bricks, interlocking floor slabs which is far cheaper than the conventional building materials available with quality not compromised thereby using the waste generated by our subscriber to solving the second most important need of man which is shelter.
This is a great innovation, you Astrae is not just solving environmental problems but also creating Employment opportunities.
With this idea, you are going to affect the market in a positive way. Cost of building materials are going to be stabilized and people will start building using your products. They are strong and cheap!