On the way home from town, the dump.

Neighbor with the dump, the cemetery.

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Making lye from palm leafs

Jenny collecting firewood, only natural fallen branches from palm trees.

Palm leafs burning, generating the ash, for the lye needed in the soap making.

Collecting white ashes.

Lye job.First test with the lye making. Palm ashes in a cloth bag hanging above hot water.

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The coconut oil

The raw material, left over dried coconuts.

The local coconut oil presser Abassi Bakari. The family has used this press from India to press oil for generations.

The leftovers from the oil pressing is used to feed the cows.

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The Team

The team, from left: Petra, Nils with Casheshe, Simba, Jenny, Siri, Majorij and Ambjörn with Tabu.

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Arriving at Lamu

Last part of the long journey to Lamu with the Al-jazzira boat decorated with bougainvillaea. Cinnamon and cardamom coffee and halloa served by captain Souma welcomed us on the boat.

Simba and Nils at the Al-jazzira boat.

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Shamba Ya Familia Viking

Shamba Ya Familia VikingThis is where we are staying, at Shamba Ya Familia Viking. The house is designed and built by the family Viking (Ambjörn, Marie, Nils and Sunniva) part time residents at Lamu. Ambjörn Viking, designer and son of Marie and Nils Viking and Siri Lilja Young, junior and daughter of Petra Lilja are joining us on the journey to Lamu. Nils is already at Lamu.


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About The Soap Lamu

This blog tells you about Apocalyps Labotek’s knowledge exchange project, The Soap Lamu, in Kenya. Apokalyps Labotek (ALT) is a design and innovation studio based in Malmö, Sweden. ALT is run by Petra Lilja and Jenny Nordberg, both industrial designers with focus on sustainable development.

The Soap Lamu is a continuation of The Soap Original and The Soap Perfume, made from recycled deep frying oil from local falafel kitchens in Malmö by ALT. The Soap Lamu however, is made from coconut residues on the island of Lamu, Kenya.

The Lamu project transforms oil from coconut residues together with ashes from burnt coconut palm leafs into soap.

In the beginning of 2007 Jenny and Petra began to explore old Swedish pesant methods in general and soap production in particular. Using the left over fat from slaughter was not a option for ALT. After a lot of research and experiments The Soap (Original and Perfume) made from recycled vegetable cooking oil from local falafel kitchens was born.

The Lamu Soap Project was in the early 2010 awarded with the second prize and 3000 Euros in Terre de Femmes. ALT’s will start a soap manufacturing in Kenya during the second half of 2010.  “We now want to expand our soap project to include a knowledge exchange project on the island of Lamu in Kenya, where we will manufacture soap according to the classical method using local coconut residues.”

ALT has with his extended soap projects in Kenya three cornerstones.
1) The soap production takes advantage of a local plant debris from the coconut which is abundant on the island of Lamu. The extracted coconut oil is an excellent oil to make soap from. With the right recipe one can make a really good organic soap.
2) The soap project also aims to generate jobs. Soap manufacturing could help to raise needed job opportunities for people on the island.
3) The project especially aims to empower women.

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