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Business News of Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Source: 3news.com

Affordable Housing: Government to make local building materials integral part

Recent hikes in building materials including cement and iron rods have been a concern to many Recent hikes in building materials including cement and iron rods have been a concern to many

The Ministry of Works and Housing has hinted at plans to make the use of local building materials an integral part of government housing projects to make it affordable for all.

Recent hikes in building materials including cement and iron rods have been a concern to many in the country. The increment has been blamed on the high cost of shipping due to the effect of COVID-19.

But the Ministry believes the use of local building materials will reduce the cost of construction and make government fulfill its commitment to providing affordable housing to Ghanaians.

Government some years back introduced a policy to use at least 60 percent of local building materials for public infrastructure development. But the implementation of the policy has not been adhered to.

The Works and Housing Ministry, however, stepped up effort to promote the use of burnt bricks for construction purposes.

Sector minister Francis Asenso-Boakye said his ministry has begun engaging the ministries of Education and Health to use burnt bricks for the construction of schools and health facilities.

“In this day and age, where we have rising cost of cement and iron rods, we have no option than to turn to local building materials. As a minister, I have actively engaged the ministers of Education and Health to use burnt bricks in building schools, clinics, and CHPS compound. The idea is for people to accept its use and also create demand so companies in the brick business expand their business.”

Manufacturers of the burnt bricks want more to be done to give them market.

“Not many people know that the use of bricks for construction is cost-effective. Government should take the lead by using bricks for public infrastructure,” General Manager of Vicalex Bricks Frank Akwasi Mensah stated.

The Minister inspected a 200-acre land at Dedesua in the Bosomtwe District handed over the Ministry by the Asantehene for the construction of affordable housing projects.

Francis Asenso Boakye also toured the J.A. Kufuor Estate housing unit spearheaded by the State Housing Company (SHC) to assess the progress of work.

The project was expected to be completed by the end of 2020 but suffered delay due to COVID-19.

“We lost eight months of work due to coronavirus but we are hoping to accelerate issues and finish the project by mid-2021,” Managing Director of SHC Kwabena Ampofo Appiah told 3news.com.

The Works and Housing Minister is on a 3-day working visit in the Ashanti Region to inspect some projects and engage stakeholders on policy direction regarding the affordable housing programme.

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