The Ministries of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST); and Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH) in conjunction with the CSIR - Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI) organized three (3) two-day Sensitisation and Social Advocacy Seminars in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale in March, 2012.
These were part of the implementation strategy of the Government policy on the use of 60% local building materials in the construction of public buildings by 2015, a policy initiative adopted by Cabinet in November, 2010. The focus was, among others, to bring to the fore, the quality and best practices in the use of locally developed building materials.
Resource Persons and Participants considered issues such as Pozzolana Technology and Utilisation; Burnt Clay Bricks, Compressed Earth Bricks/Blocks and Adobe as durable building materials; Design Considerations, Structural Applications and Cost Effectiveness in Using Local Building Materials; Low Cost Rural Road Surfacing using Burnt Clay Bricks and Pozzolana and finally, Anti-Termite Treatment of Construction Sites and Deterioration of Buildings.
At the end of the Seminars, participants agreed that housing is considered as one of the fundamental human rights by the United Nations and hence, an integral part of MDG No. 7 (i.e. Ensure Environmental Sustainability) and that:
Ghana had a housing deficit of approximately 1,500,000 units;
Portland cement, which is produced from imported clinker, costs the country at least, US$200 million annually;
There was currently very low official and private commitment to the use of local building materials such as Bricks, Pozzolana Cement, Compressed Earth Blocks/Bricks and Bamboo for construction in the country;
The National Local Resources Development and Training Centre (NLRDTC) being set up at the CSIR-BRRI was very commendable
Do hereby declare
The current procurement procedures and specifications on projects should inculcate local building materials utilization like Pozzolana, Brick and Tile, Compressed Earth, etc.
Government should be the first consumer of buildings put up with local building materials.
Government should take steps to instruct MMDAs to use Local Building Materials for Public Buildings. Works Departments of MMDAs should be the target for implementation as they are generators of Metropolitan/Municipal/District projects.
The Educational Curricula of Technical/Vocational Institutions, Polytechnics and Universities pursuing courses in building construction should incorporate locally developed building materials.
Facilitation to set up Brick/Tile, Compressed Earth Block, Pozzolana, etc. factories in the districts with tax incentives end benefits.
Consultants/Designers should incorporate local materials in the design, specification and structural strength design of government projects. There could be Model designs for Classroom Blocks, Clinics, Staff Accommodation, KVIPS, etc.
Disaster Relief Materials from NADMO should include Pozzolana.
There should be easy access and availability of the Local Building Materials.
Changing of the mindset of the populace should be done through facilitation at the community level.
Establishment of Local Building Materials Technology Demonstration Centers in all regions, Districts and selected major public places( Palaces, Community Centers & Schools).
Establishment of a regulatory body to see to the protection of clay fields, production of bricks, pozzolana and other handling charges.
Government should resource Research Institutions to carry out more studies into Local Building Materials.