US$63 million for construction of eco-friendly houses availed Cde Daniel Garwe

Blessings Chidakwa-Municipal Reporter

TO meet its target of delivering 220 000 houses by 2025, the Second Republic has migrated from the sole use of bricks and mortar method in construction to modern technologies that will ensure the target is met on time.

And towards achieving that goal Government, has received a whopping US$63 million from Shelter Afrique to fund the construction of eco-friendly buildings, that will not only cut costs but also ensure Zimbabwe moves with the times as the world goes green.

Green building materials, also called eco-friendly materials, are construction materials that have a low impact on the environment, composed of renewable resources which have to be natural and will not be spoiled by heat, humidity, or coldness.

Precast concrete slabs, reclaimed steel, hempcrete and ferrock are among some of the green materials for construction. In this regard, Zimbabwe’s development is in tandem with world trends where innovation has seen the construction of eco-friendly houses.

Addressing the media at his offices yesterday, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said the Government was enjoying cordial relations with African institutions that were created purely to provide lines of credit for housing finance.

Minister Garwe said Zimbabwe as a shareholder in Shelter Afrique has benefited from the loan facility that has been extended to banks like CBZ, Banc ABC, ZB, FBC and Cabs for the construction of houses.

“There are other programmes that we are working on, the construction of plants to manufacture green materials in the country. We have sourced the funding for that through Shelter Afrique.

“Very soon we are going to be witnessing the construction, completion and launching of that plant which manufactures green materials to mitigate the issues of climate change,” said Minister Garwe.

The National Housing and Social Amenities Minister said the Government was on course to deliver 220 000 housing units by 2025 in line with the NDS1.

“One of the areas of doing that is to focus on traditional methods of doing construction, the brick and mortar strategies. We are aware of the fact that using the brick and mortar strategy it will take us more than 20 years to achieve our objective.

“Government migrated from the only use of brick and mortar strategies to the application of new technologies in housing delivery. We developed some technologies, consulted countries abroad where these technologies have been applied, among them Dubai and South Africa,” he said.

Minister Garwe said his ministry floated tenders for developers to come and join Government in the housing delivery strategy.

He said the tenders are not ordinary ones where the Government provides funding, but the developers will mobilise the financing, provide the designs for the houses and bring them for approval.

“Those tenders have gone through the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, they have been approved and are moving to the site starting at the beginning of October,” he said.

“The first phase has four developers, each developer will be assigned to a province and produce a minimum of 100 blocks of flats of 20 units each per month. We expect that in 12 months we will have produced 1 200 blocks of flats per province of 20 units each.”

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