In an effort to foster sustainable building materials in the country, the National Construction Industry Council of Malawi (NCIC) and Gesells chaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have entered into a one-year partnership called “More Income and Employment in Rural areas (MIERA) Project”.
Speaking after signing a letter of intent with NCIC, Charlotte Chirimuuta, the Team Leader for the project, said the project will look more into issues of research and certification of building materials in Malawi.
“This partnership is very important looking at the scale of construction sector with the potential it has in a country like Malawi, with still low urbanization rate but that might add up in the future, so it is very important that we find ways of building sustanably in the future to give the opportunity to conserve resources but still maintain an economy that folorishes with construction,” she said.
The project intends to establish guidelines for sustainable building materials, encompassing various aspects like sourcing of raw materials, production processes and usage.
“We are hoping to play an enabling role for the National Construction Industry Council to basically get to the full potential of their own possibilities, because one thing which is very important for Germany government corporation is to give support to Malawian people, our role is to provide financial support to carry out workshops to carry out trainings, which all will be facilitated by NCIC,” Chirimuuta highlighted.
One critical thing, which has come to light is that Malawi is lacking the financial resources for the entrepreneurs to have the capacity to construct, the possibility of the available material is also low as a lot of materials still come from outside, so with the struggling economy like what Malawi has it is importing is becoming a challenge. So the project will also look into issues on how we can sustainably use the available resources that are coming from this country to solve some of the challenges.
In his remarks, Engineer Gerlad Khonje, Chief Executive Officer at NCIC, the project will go a long way in conducting research and standardization of criterial for identifying sustainable construction materials.
“It is very important looking at our strategic plan which is more focusing on agility and innovation, this is to explore the locally available materials and see how this can be utilized in terms of the construction industry and be able to preserve the natural resources that we have as well as financial resources. Basically we are looking at where we have appropriate criterial for identifying sustainable materials as well as an increase uptake of alternative materials, change of ways on how we do things where people will start using the locally available materials sustainably but at the same time creating employment and job opportunity to Malawians in various parts of the country because when they explore materials for construction they will be able to generate their own income, that will help them in their social-economic income,” Khonje said.
Regarding the Cost Indies strategy, which NCIC launched early this month, the partnership lies on a component of research which is agility and innovation as well as creativity and these elements will cover those gaps.
The partnership will last for one year starting from July, 2023 to July 2024.