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Contractors Not Exploiting Local Materials 

By Sixtus Mbom

Contractors have come under criticism of not adhering to a Prime Ministerial circular of 2007, stipulating that they use local materials to construct houses of up to two floors.

House built using local materials

The Director the Local Materials Promotion Authorities, MIPROMALO at the Ministry of Research and Scientific Innovation, Prof. Uphie Chinje Melo, said, by disrespecting the circular, the contractors are hindering the growth of the institution.

She exhorted Cameroonians to use locally produced building materials to construct houses.
Prof. Chinje made the call shortly after the fourth meeting of the steering committee of the project in Yaounde on July 7, to evaluate work done so far.

The local materials include fired bricks, stabilised blocks and other materials which are relatively cheaper than conventional materials that are commonly used in the country. It was further explained that houses built with these bricks and blocks have the tendency to self-regulate house temperatures and are more solid.

While evaluating MIPROMALO’s successes recorded so far in promoting technology and adding value to local materials in order to ameliorate the lives of citizens, the project team presented its modern equipment and 20 Technology Transfer Centres which were created in several parts the country.

Some of the centres are found in Bamenda, Yaounde, Kumba, Ngaoundere and Maroua.
A modern laboratory for analysis has also been created which is at the disposal of Cameroonian students and researchers who, in the past, had to send samples abroad for analysis.

Some of the laboratory equipment includes Bruker D8 Advanced X-ray diffractometer for phase identification of the several application fields such as aluminum, chemistry, archeology, glass, cement, environmental analysis, among others. The laboratory also has a Bruker S4 Pioneer X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for elemental identification of other applications. Some of these applications are oils, pharmaceuticals, ores, metals, rocks and more.

Meanwhile, Prof. Chinje said MIPROMALO has opened a semi-industry at Nkolbissong in Yaounde, which produces 20,000 bricks a day, adding that feasibility studies for the construction of two full-scale industries in Yaounde and Douala are currently going on.

She also said the institution plans to construct factories in other regions of the country.
She told the press that they are going to construct 131 houses which are part of a project already going on in Olembe, Yaounde.

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