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Safe Haven

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Africa 1 March 2009

In 2002 the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies recently warned that over half of the world's 60,000 war victims in the last year were killed in Africa south of the Sahara. Conflicts -- both civil wars and border disputes between countries -- are among the fundamental push factors that drive people away from their homelands. The general state of war has also damaged social and economic implications, which act as added incentives for people to flee their countries of origin. Contrary to the western world, Africans have different ancestral homelands of living and migration than the actual bordered countries they live presently.

"Operation Safe Haven" is a far reaching proposal to build "Safe Haven Villages" for refugees in ancestral homelands of war torn regions in Africa. Each Village should offer safe shelter for 10’000 – 16’000 refugees/asylum seekers. If id 2002, mankind is able to establish, "Peace Parks" for animals in Africa, why wouldn’t it be possible to create neutral “Peace Zones” for human beings?


EPS Africa Shelter

A roof over ones head is one of the most elementary human rights. An increasing number of people in third world countries (more than 150 million) are homeless due to natural disasters, floods (68%), storms, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, political violence or simply by lack of financial resources.

Expanded Poly-styrene (EPS) IGLOO

The availability of EPS to construct houses inspired Caribbean Business Consultancy NV (Bonaire) and Mano Properties & Investment Inc. (Africa) to develop a far reaching plan to design and build EPS Igloo shelters for rapid disaster relief. since the lightweight EPS building blocks do not require a skeleton the structure can be build with few people in very short time. The EPS igloo consists of a dome, including living quarters and a tunnel with access to bedrooms which simultaneously can serve as a warehouses. A window can be formed by PVC pipes that are easily sealed. When the roof is covered with a flexible solar panel-carpet, small electronics can work as lighting, radio, television, phone chargers and other useful equipment. A simple webstructure with pins keeps the dome at place.

This form of emergency shelter can be erected quickly, efficient and cost effective, even in most remote disaster areas to provide safe shelter with protection from heat, cold, rain, sun and other weather circumstances. Due to the high insulation value of EPS the interior climate will always be fairly pleasant. The EPS igloo is a cost-saving and quality of life-enhancing residential solution in emergency zones around the world.


EPS-products can be fabricated in the shape of blocks, panels or a special shape. EPS- building product scan therefore also be fabricated as more or less ‘raw’ material, such as EPS insulation plates, EPS floor tiles, roof panels etc. EPS is used in all thinkable building sectors and knows many shapes and forms.

With houses built with EPS, the use of concrete is reduced drastically. This is very positive for newly built houses, but also for renovation projects where existing facades are taken out and are replaced by EPS. In this way, existing foundations are relieved eased of burdened extra.

By the special way in which walls and roofs are built, no lead or zinc is used with EPS houses. The pipes for electricity, water and heating are made of special plastics, which further reduces the use of copper. The connection between the EPS walls, the window panes and the concrete is realized by means of a special profile and glue.

Durable, safe and energy saving

In The Netherlands, construction companies in close cooperation with the Dutch Ministry have proposed a ‘Durable Construction Package’ which describes the methods and conditions of building durably. By applying EPS, the conditions and constraints are easily met, among which are the upgrading of RC-values of insulation constructions in order to meet the ever stricter energy-savings coefficient. An important feature is the durability of the EPS material. Tests have shown that even after years EPS will not suck up water in a wet environment. Also concerning the needed pressure sustainability and heat conduction, EPS will not degenerate. EPS is not sensitive to moist, fungus or mildew.

All necessary technical tests, such as fire resistance tests, constructive safety and labor safety, show beneficiary results and have been documented.

There is not a day to waste, so let’s start today!”


Border fences between three southern African countries will come down in 2002/2003 to allow elephants and other herds to follow ancestral migration routes in what will be the world's biggest game reserve. The Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou-Transfrontier-Park links game reserves in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and is bigger than the Netherlands or Taiwan at 38,600 square kilometers (15,440 square miles). “The three countries will manage the park together. It is a monument to peace in our region", South African Tourism and Environmental Affairs Minister Valli Moosa told to the press. The release in October 2001 of the first elephants, which were tranquilized first, then loaded into trucks with cranes, was witnessed by dignitaries such as former South African president Nelson Mandela, Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands and donors, including representatives of the World Bank and the German Development Bank.

In Africa, millions of refugees are constantly on the run, and don’t have to be tranquilized first to lead them to “safe places”. War already did, and most places are absolutely not safe.


In an African-style Kibbutz-variation, adult refugees will be obliged to work at least 5 hours a day for the community. This can be at the Village farm, the village bank, in the bakery and butchery, or for the community building/construction & maintenance group, in the food market and art shops, but also in the local hospital or Village House, and at the community school. Tree times a week, adults are due to attend school for at least 2 hours. Children have the obligation to go to school during weekdays. A Village House will be the administrative center for the community where an elected village mayor and management are seated.

Each year, the villagers will elect a council of wise people (men and women) and elect an own "mayor/chief". The mayor/chief and the council will be in charge of running the community affairs and to represent the community at meetings with the management and HQ.

Slowly a new economy will develop and in stead of a burden, refugees will bring prosperity to the region.

With an initial budget of $500 million and an additional $1.7 billion a year, 500,000 safe places can be secured and western Governments will save in excess of $10 billion a year.


Western governments annually spend billions of dollars to create housing in refugee/asylum-seeker centers. The average cost with all necessary initial facilities is roughly estimated at $25’000.00 per single refugee/asylum-seeker. After that investment, the annual cost for facilities/utilities, food, education and integration are average in excess of $25’000.00 per person. This learns that Europe for example, spends an annual budget of $12’5 billion for 500’000 refugees. Sixty percent of this money is for the salaries of high skilled civil servants (officials and clerks), 25% for facilities/utilities and the remaining 15% is for direct financial support of the individual refugee/asylum seeker.

Ninety-five percent of all this money directly flows back into the own western economy as the refugee only saves 5% for the family back home in Africa.


With an initial budget of $500 million, 500,000 safe places can be provided in Africa. An equal amount is necessary to provide community facilities like: hospitals, schools, banks, and community centers.

The initial costs to build one Safe Haven Village for 16’000 refugees, with all required infrastructure, facilities and utilities, approx. costs $16 million. (4’000 family houses /average 4 members).
This averages only $1’000.00 per refugee.

Each village requires a management-team of 25 professionals. Teachers, doctors, civil servants, security and others. The costs for management are estimated at $4 million a year per village.
($250.00 per refugee).

Health cost and transportation are estimated at $4 million per year.
($250.00 per refugee)

Security by a UN-team of 100 peacekeepers would be estimated at $4 million.
($250.00 per refugee).

Supervision and HQ coordination expenses per village are estimated at: $8 million per year.
($500.00 per refugee).


If the average GNP per capita in Africa is $1.00 per day ($365.00 per year!), costs for shelter, housing, food and education. This amount should be tripled to an estimated $1’100.00 per refugee, per year. Three times average GNP per capita; -50% for living, -20% for maintenance of the house and insurance, -and 30% for saving. Integration doesn’t cost a penny because the people are already "at home".

In order to gain the full support from involved governments in the subjective regions, a same amount of $1’100.00 per villages should be reserved to pay as tax to the local governments. This will stimulate them not only to cooperate but it will also provoke their interest to provide pragmatic solutions. This injection into the local economy will bring prosperity to the region, and prosperity brings peace.

Refugees should have the right to stay for a maximum period of 3 years in a "Safe Haven". In that time they make a living (self esteem) and the community will safe at least $1’000.00 per person at a special bank account. Traumas can heal. An average family would save around the $4’000.00 plus interest in three years. This should be enough to start a new life back home or somewhere else in their ancestral homeland.

With $1.7 billion a year, 500’000 safe places can be secured. If half of the present civil servants involved would keep their job, still the western Governments would safe in excess of $6 billion a year. Most western officials would be needed to; -calculate the needed fund -develop guide lines -do inspection at the spot -make reports -and produce recommendations.

In the end there will only be winners: the refugees, the western governments, local governments and the people of Africa.


Please be so kind to forward your response, remarks, critics, suggestions and proposals to any Government in the world with copy to:


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