Use local materials for construction-IET

Mr.Eric Atta-Sonno  addressing the  members at the AGM

Mr.Eric Atta-Sonno addressing the members at the AGM

Ghana must seriously consider the use of locally manufactured materials in construction in order to bridge the housing deficit, Mr Eric Atta -Sonno, President, Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Ghana, has said.

The use of the locally manufactured goods would not only address the current deficit but also transportation of the materials from the urban area to rural area and vice versa, he added.

Mr Atta-Sonno was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the institution in Accra on Thursday on the theme “The engineer, catalyst for the successful implementation of the engineering regulation.”

The country’s housing shortfall is projected at 1.7 million units, and expected to soar high in the following years to come despite number of new policies, programmes and strategies being engaged in by public and private sectors in addressing this problem.

The onus he said behoved the government to conduct research to promote the utilisation of local content of construction materials to ensure durability and affordability in the industry.

The President expressed worry that most housing put up by foreign developers did not meet local needs and the teeming middle class as the foreigners were usually influenced by their culture and background to satisfy the taste of upper-class citizenry.

Mr Atta- Sonno said the  use  of  local  materials  needed  to  be supported and  reinforced to  produce sufficient quantities of materials of adequate quality to withstand the effects of climatic conditions which range from humid rainy seasons to extremely hot dry seasons.

“Mud structures, mud and wattle buildings, and locally produced bricks and blocks do not endure for many of these seasons, and must be constantly patched and repaired,” he added.

It is, therefore, important to identify and use locally manufactured and available materials (sand, stones, grass, thatches, clay, timber, clay bricks and clay blocks) in providing houses especially in Ghana in order to meet the housing demand of their people.

The Executive Secretary, Mr Emmanuel W. K Donkor,  in his address, called for  a study into the need for constructing houses  with  locally  available  materials  in  order  to appreciate  peoples’ experience  about  the  benefits  and challenges  of  using  local  materials  for  building houses as well as make recommendation for future studies to improve and make them preferable materials for building houses.

He noted that the nation was endowed with local content suitable and sustainable to revamp the industry.

In a related development, an induction ceremony was held for new fellows and Corporate Associate members of the institute.

By BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY & DAVID TAKYI

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