Our approach in developing the Impact project, has been to carry out our research in a consistent way and to avoid affecting to the day-to-day life of the community. During 2 to 3 months we sought to have informal conversations about the process and issues, and to follow the laborious routines of the women carrying out the extraction process.
A meeting, organised with the some of the women and supported by the local school, provided a formal platform for the women to clarify some queries they had about our arrival and activities.
A workshop was set up at the Tcheka Association - partner of the project - and our work has been developed alongside the women who expressed an interest in being involved in the project.
As part of a collaborative, co-authored and co-designed process, a new component has been developed for the Impact construction system: a paving block which is based on the cape-verdian identity and incorporates the panudi terra element.
Making use of some of the plastic discarded along the riverbed - and later through a proactive campaign of reuse of PET bottles collected from local businesses - and through a process of grinding the plastic down, enough material was obtained to reduce the quantity of aggregates typically used in making the blocks. Different proportions of ground up plastic were tested, as well as carrying out comparison tests using natural aggregates (available from the riverbed and Charco) and artificial construction sand available near the town. The moulds used to make the prototype blocks were produced by the local blacksmith.