Housing is a basic human need. Shelter for all was even listed among the millennium developmental goals therefore its significance cannot even be quantified. In most developing countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, proper and adequate housing is still a challenge. Consequently, informal settlements have continued to mushroom as the population grows: Case in point, the infamous Kibera slum in Nairobi. Therefore, with housing requirements in developing countries reaching out of control, most governments are implementing legislative measures to minimize the disparity, particularly by developing affordable housing schemes to match the ever-rising housing demand.

In line with this, a report published by an International Center of Excellence in Public Policy Research indicates that the Kenyan government has even lined up four agendas termed, ‘The Big Four’ with one being the construction of 500,000 homes within the Kenyan urban and suburban centers to curb the current housing problems in the country. Even so, the inadequacy of affordable construction materials is still a challenge, leaving cost reduction as the most feasible alternative that will see the actualization of such grand schemes

A full realization of such ambitious projects hinges on innovating, manufacturing, and utilizing low-cost but durable construction materials from locally available resources. Most of these can be borrowed from history regarding traditional earth construction methods that exploited techniques such as adobe blocks, and compressed earth blocks and give them a new life.

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Eng. Wokabi
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