MUST Hosts Global Workshop
The Meru University of Science and Technology family was happy to host the Global Workshop on Alternative Building Materials & Technologies (G-MATE) on 24th and 25th October, 2022. The theme for the workshop was: “Alternative Building materials for affordable and Low carbon housing in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The event brought together delegates from the University of Padova (Italy), University of Uppsala (Sweden), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Makerere University (Uganda), University of Lagos (Nigeria), State Department of Housing, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), National Construction Authority (NCA), Savannah Cement Limited and other partners in the public and private sector.
“I am greatly honoured and pleased to join you today during this Global Workshop on Alternative Building Materials and Technologies as we speak on sustainable construction materials, whose discussions and outcomes will benefit the entire East African Region and beyond. It is important to highlight that we have recently experienced unprecedented moments over the past few years, where every sector of our country’s economy has been greatly affected by several impediments which have been beyond our control. This discussion is timely as we strive to build back our economy which requires us to adopt strategies beyond the conventional methods. Sustainability, therefore, is a key factor to consider, which will greatly impact our infrastructure sector.” Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Vice Chancellor, MUST.
Every year, the Government of Kenya invests over $1.6 billion (dollars) to its physical infrastructural facilities compared to $4.3 billion (dollars) needed yearly for its optimal operations. In addition, Kenya experiences an annual housing deficit of about 250,000 housing units. This is a huge deficit that can only be achieved through innovation and developing alternative affordable construction materials. A discussion like alternative binders for concrete other than cement will serve a big role in mitigating the negative effects of carbon (IV) oxide emissions from cement industries which account for 6-8 percent of the global carbon (IV) oxide emission. The effects of these emissions like flooding and long droughts caused by climate change have become part of us for many years in Kenya. Innovative solutions are needed for addressing the cause of climate change and dealing with its consequences. Research on alternative building materials is a promising example of scientific and technical solution in this endeavor.
The Vice-Chancellor said that it is a privilege for Meru University of Science and Technology to host such an important discussion. He added that our efforts on alternative building materials and technologies have just begun and it will play an important role in construction not only in Kenya but also across the world. Prof. Odhiambo concluded by saying that this workshop will pave a way towards a sustainable construction venture.