'Local Material Are Good Substitute for Cement'

By Nkendem Forbinake

Professor Uphie Chinje, General Manager of the Local Materials Promotion Authority, MIPROMALO suggests that too much use of cement could compromise COP 21 objectives...

Professor, what is the exact situation of the local materials sector, especially its potential in the construction of houses in Cameroon and with special regard to the various government projects in promoting low-cost housing?

The local materials sector is one that fits squarely into the aspirations of the Head of State for Cameroon to become an emerging economy as elaborated in the Growth and Employment Strategy (DSCE) of the government. The local materials sector (especially the use of bricks, stones and wood) is the oldest in the construction industry as structures built in the German era still constitute landmark buildings in the country today.

Unfortunately, this was plagued by the introduction of unstandardized cement blocks (employing cement from imported clinker that is simply crushed and packaged by foreign factories in Cameroon, despite the fact that local resources for clinker-clay and limestone - abound locally) and local materials are struggling to resurface. It is worth noting that although cement has an inevitable structural role in the housing construction industry, it is one of the most unecological materials, producing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, consequently against COP 21 environmental objectives.

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