Resuscitate Pozzolana cement factory as part of 1D1F

In March, 2011, the Building and Road Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-BRRI) began commercial production of its local brand of Pozzolana cement at Gomoa Mprumem in the Central Region.

The CSIR-BRRI plant had a capacity of about 5,000 bags per day.

Pozzolana is a variation of ordinary cement produced with the ingredients of ordinary cement in certain proportions in addition to fly ash and volcanic ash.

While ordinary cement is available in more than one grade, Pozzolana is in one and its strength matches that of the lowest grade of the ordinary cement after curing.

It is, however, recorded that Pozzolana is highly resistant to sulphate attacks and so its prime use is in the construction of dams, foundations, buildings near the sea shore, reservoirs, marine infrastructure and flyovers among other such things.

Though Pozzolana has low initial setting strength compared to ordinary cement, it hardens over a period with proper curing.

Besides, both cement variations are ecofriendly but since Pozzolana production includes the use of industrial waste, it is said to help in reducing environmental pollution.

Above all, the Pozzolana cement is cheaper than the ordinary cement brands in the system.

If all the advantages of the Pozzolana cement are anything to go by, then the Ghanaian Times wonders why the CSIR-BRRI factory should cease operation few months after its establishment for poor patronage of its products and lack of investments.

How much education did the CSIR-BRRI carry out across the country for Ghanaians to buy into the use of Pozzolana cement?

Ghanaians are conservative in the use and practice of some things and so it should take some good amount of persuasion and some proof to convince them to switch for new things.

It is clear this did not happen otherwise a positive story should be told today.

Probably, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Dr Emmanuel Marfo, is right in saying that the 16 agencies under the CSIR could be doing some great work but perhaps they are unable to properly communicate their relevance to attract the necessary support.

His advice that the CSIR-BRRI needs to bring a statement on Pozzolana to Parliament for a debate to influence policy decision in its promotion and preference is apt and calls for prompt actions, first on the part of CSIR and second on that of the government when responding to recommendations to be made by Parliament after the debate.

However, before that happens, this paper wishes to prompt the government to being part of the reason for the failure of the Gomoa Mprumem factory and let that push it to take the necessary steps to resuscitate it, especially in an era when the Akufo-Addo administration is vigorously pursuing its ‘One District One Factory (1D1F)’ policy to reduce unemployment in the country.

The government, no doubt, has undertaken countless projects since March 2011 for which Pozzolana could have been used but it is clear it did not make any effort to buy any of it from the factory.

The Ghanaian Times hopes all the stakeholders would do the needful for the Pozzolana cement factory to come back to life, attracting the necessary patronage and investment and boost 1D1F.

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