• KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 29, 2011) - Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers load dirt into a light armored tactical vehicle at Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 29. The dirt was used to build an eco-dome in the village. All the materials used to construct the dome in Karatbi San were procured from the environment or donated by non-government organizations.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 29, 2011) - Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers load dirt into a light armored tactical vehicle at Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 29. The dirt was used to build an eco-dome in the village. All the materials used to construct...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 29, 2011) -U.S. Army Soldiers with the Civil Affairs Team 4902 use a light armored tactical vehicle to transport dirt to an eco-dome construction site in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 29. The eco-dome being built in Karatbi San is a form of durable housing made of earth, barbed wire, sand bags and cement.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 29, 2011) -U.S. Army Soldiers with the Civil Affairs Team 4902 use a light armored tactical vehicle to transport dirt to an eco-dome construction site in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 29. The eco-dome being built in...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - Villagers and Djiboutian and U.S. Army Soldiers work together to mix concrete at Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. The concrete is being used in the construction of an eco-dome. Upon completion, the eco-dome is slated to be used as a community health clinic or community school. Karatbi San is a remote village in the Tadjourah region of Djibouti.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - Villagers and Djiboutian and U.S. Army Soldiers work together to mix concrete at Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. The concrete is being used in the construction of an eco-dome. Upon completion, the eco-dome is...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - A villager works with U.S. Army soldiers to fill sand bags during the construction of an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Upon completion, the main dome will stand 21 feet high and 21 feet in diameter and the adjoining dome will be 15 feet in diameter.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - A villager works with U.S. Army soldiers to fill sand bags during the construction of an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Upon completion, the main dome will stand 21 feet high and 21 feet in...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers work together to construct an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Upon completion, the dome is slated to be used by the village as a community health clinic or a community school. Civil Affairs Team 4902, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, visited the village November 29 through December 2, to help the villagers build the eco-dome and share skill sets with them so they can continue construction on the dome until the team returns next month.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers work together to construct an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Upon completion, the dome is slated to be used by the village as a community health clinic or a...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - U.S. Army Captain Justin Lev, Civil Affairs Team 4902 team chief, drills a hole into a door frame during the construction of an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers worked together to build an eco-dome, which according to Lev, is an economically responsible structure with low maintenance requirements.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - U.S. Army Captain Justin Lev, Civil Affairs Team 4902 team chief, drills a hole into a door frame during the construction of an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. Villagers and U.S. Army Soldiers...

  • KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - U.S. Army Captain Justin Lev, Civil Affairs Team 4902 team chief, fills up 5-gallon containers with water at a water entrapment in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. The water was used to make concrete used to build an eco-dome. Lev hails from Fort Worth, Texas.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    KARATBI SAN, Djibouti (Nov. 30, 2011) - U.S. Army Captain Justin Lev, Civil Affairs Team 4902 team chief, fills up 5-gallon containers with water at a water entrapment in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 30. The water was used to make concrete used to...

  • CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (Dec. 3, 2011) - This eco-dome was built at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, by a civil affairs team a few years ago to see if these buildings are feasible to support communities in the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa area of responsibility. The eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, is the first dome CJTF-HOA began building outside Camp Lemonnier to be used by Djiboutians. Though the eco-dome at Karatbi San, Djibouti, is still under construction, upon completion it will stand 21 feet high with a 21-foot diameter main dome and a 15-foot diameter adjoining dome, making it significantly larger than the dome on the camp.

    Eco-dome will help build sense of community

    CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (Dec. 3, 2011) - This eco-dome was built at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, by a civil affairs team a few years ago to see if these buildings are feasible to support communities in the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa area...

KARATBI SAN, Djibouti -- Local villagers, Djiboutian service members and soldiers from the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team 4902, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, worked side by side on an eco-dome in Karatbi San, Djibouti, November 29 through December 2.

The project is a part of an ongoing effort between CJTF-HOA, the Djiboutian military, villagers, non-government organizations and international organizations to provide Karatbi San, a remote village in the Tadjourah region of Djibouti, with a community building.

"We are building an eco-dome. It's a form of durable housing," said U.S. Army Captain Justin Lev, Civil Affairs Team 4902 team chief. "We are teaching them (the villagers) right now, so they can take this lesson and build their own home, their own community."

According to Lev, upon completion the eco-dome will stand 21 feet high with a 21-foot diameter main dome and a 15-foot diameter adjoining dome. Its main purpose will be as a community health clinic or a community school.

Though the civil affairs soldiers have worked diligently on the eco-dome, they are not the biggest contributors to the project.

"These villagers have really been working on it on their own. Essentially we showed them the concept and some skill sets to help them with the construction," Lev said. "They are taking those and really doing the work while we are gone."

"We will come back, and they will have done a significant portion of the work," he added.

The villagers are working on the structure, because they know what it means for Karatbi San.

"It (the eco-dome) will help a lot, and that is why everybody comes and participates in the construction," said Mohammed Hamodo Hamada, a Karatbi San villager. "This is the first time we have seen people building Afar-styled structures, which is a dome."

"We are excited about it," he added.

Until recently, the incentive for the villagers to build the eco-dome is the betterment of the community. "Now the World Food Programme will be providing food for their labor," Lev said.

Other NGOs and international organizations, such as the International Red Crescent, have donated all the materials needed to construct the eco-dome including sandbags, barbed wire and cement. These materials, which make the building economically feasible with low maintenance requirements, would normally cost about $3,000 for an eco-dome the size of the one being built, he said.

"It (the eco-dome) doesn't cost much money, but it gets the community together to build it, and once they are done building it, it's theirs," Lev said.

A new community building is not all the villagers gain from the project.

"They have learned some valuable skills that they will be able to take and be competitive for some real modern infrastructure projects in the area," Lev said.

In the coming months, the soldiers will continue to work with the villagers until they complete the eco-dome.

"After this dome is built, it will mean lots of things for the locals," Hamada said. "I would like to thank them (the team) for coming … all the way out to Karatbi San and helping our people."

Page last updated Tue December 6th, 2011 at 00:00