Students make tiles from silt, paint from castor oil

Stephen Ochieng, from Bondo Technical Institute, explains his 3 innovations, (Rico Gloss Paint, Euphosilt floor tile and Water Hyacinth Organic Fibre board) during Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Fair 2018 [David Njaaga,Standard]

Two students of Bondo Technical Training Institute have come up with ways of making construction products from soil and castor oil.

Showing their innovations at the recently held Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVet) competitions, Stephen Ochieng’ and Martha Ochieng wowed many with their homemade euphosilt tile and rosemary scented paint made from castor oil.

“It was not being used by anybody and it was in plenty so I thought to put it into use,” said Stephen on the silt in his home area of Rarieda.

Their euphosilt tile is made from silt, fibre, pigment and sap from the euphobia tree.

Not only did it put them at the top of the TVet regional competition in the Western region, the homemade euphosilt tile also earned them money from local orders.

“It only goes for Sh65 shillings for a square foot,” Stephen explained at the KICC TVet display.

The availability of raw materials makes it easy for them to produce at a low cost. He said the colour is evenly distributed in the tile so it does not fade or lose its colour over time. The tile is made into different shapes and sizes to suit a client’s taste.

The second project of the rosemary scented castor oil paint has a similar simple formation. The students extract the colour of the paint from rocks.

“We collect rocks of different colours from quarry’s and extract the color to form the pigment of our paint and a flower locally known as chamamo,” they said. The product is mixed with castor oil and turpentine.

The process is not complete without its signature rosemary scent. One litre goes for Sh200.

The institution supported their project by allowing them to paint some walls with their latest invention.

Stephen looks forward to venturing into the construction industry and making an impact with the products.