Ministry, private organisations to promote local materials in housing

The Ministry of Works and Housing is exploring ways to partner private organisations to promote the use of local raw materials in housing projects.

This, according to Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Works and Housing, would help to reduce the cost of housing facilities and create employment for the country’s teeming youth.

Additionally, he explained that such strategic partnership would support efforts to protect and conserve the environment.

The minister was speaking during an inspection tour of a house built with plastic waste bricks at Atadeka in the Kpone Katamanso Municipality.

The house was developed by Nelson Boateng, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nelplast Ghana Limited, a plastic waste processing company.

The inspection tour, the minister said, was to see at firsthand the project which had gone viral on social media for some days.

He said the innovation was welcoming in the promotion of affordable housing in the face of rising cost of some building materials, including cement and iron rods.

He noted that the use of plastic waste for construction purposes was in line with government’s affordable housing initiatives.

Mr Asenso-Boakye said such innovations were critical to lay out interventions aimed at resolving the challenges associated with plastic waste management and housing.

The ministry, he added, would internalize observations made so far about the use of plastics in developing houses and work towards providing the needed support to enable the company to scale up its operations.

“This is a laudable initiative and the government is committed to providing the needed support that will drive the company’s operations in the development of more of such affordable houses,” the minister noted.

Already, the ministry, he said, was looking to incorporating the use of local burnt bricks into the construction of school and health infrastructure across the country,  to reduce cost, adding that the Ministries of Health and Education had agreed to a request in that regard.

For his part, Mr Boateng said his company was currently employing 63 workers and was providing indirect jobs to more than 300 plastic collectors.

He noted that the bricks for the construction were made up of seventy per cent plastic and 30 per cent sand.

He said the bricks were manufactured to be able to withstand harsh conditions and was affordable as compared to other building blocks.

He said the company was in the process of receiving certification for the product from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and would commence the production of plastic-waste roofing sheets by end of June this year.

Mr Boateng said the company was ready to construct 1,000 houses if it was contracted by the government to do so.

FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, KPONE

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