The Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, has tasked the country’s engineers to come up with innovative technologies that would see to the production of cost-effective building materials to support the government’s priority of heavily subsidising the provision of housing units to the citizenry.
The move, according to him, would go a long way to reduce the overall cost of safe, decent and secured housing units for the low to middle earning Ghanaians, while boosting the local economy.
It will also curb the rising cost of building materials which poses significant practical challenges to the achievement of government’s Affordable Housing Strategies
The Minister made the call while speaking at the 2022 Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) Annual Conference and General Meeting in Accra.
He said the sharp increases in the cost of building materials due to distortions in global economy should present an enormous opportunity for Ghana Institution of Engineers and other professional bodies to develop sustainable homegrown solutions.
According to him, such efforts will boost the building and construction sector and subsequently impact our national affordable housing agenda.
“Government has recently initiated move to commence a new affordable housing programme that seeks to provide safe, decent, and secure accommodation for the low to middle earning Ghanaians, by making available free unencumbered land, infrastructure, and tax incentives with the view to attracting private sector investments into the affordable housing space. This strategy will ultimately cut the cost of owning a housing unit by up to 40%,” he stated.
To this end, he implored GhIE to look deeper and wider for engineering approaches that can churn-out creative ideas and attractive designs using local building materials that meet best practices.
Mr Asenso-Boakye said the use of local building materials such as burnt bricks and tiles, pozzolana cement, compressed earth blocks (CEB), bamboo, plastics can be the catalyst to help build public interest and enhance the use of local materials in the building and construction industry.
He emphasised that this would ultimately reduce the cost of building, and urged GhIE to understand that engineering and other related disciplines, can influence policy actions. He also added that it will generate methodologies for implementing initiatives aimed at achieving efficiency, increased affordability and structural integrity of housing construction and infrastructure in the country.
The President of GhIE, Prof. Rev. Charles Anum Adams, commended government for the various infrastructural development undertaken in the country and called for a more collaboration between the engineering body and the government to further drive the country’s structural growth.