AN EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE OF THE APPROPRIATE BUILDING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES PROMOTION IN KENYA

Research and development on Appropriate Building Materials and Technologies is not a new concept in the Kenya‟s Built Environment and the Housing Sector at large. This is prompted by the fact that large segments of the population are characterized by low purchasing power and as a result of which are living in inadequate housing conditions (GoK, 2004).
In the early 1980s and mid-1990s, various institutions drawn from both the public and private sector engaged in research on local construction materials that mainly related to the walling and roofing aspects in building construction. The lead architect of the research component at the time was the University of Nairobi through its research institute, The Housing and Building Research Institute in collaboration with a host of other institutions. The initiative involved undertaking research on various aspects of low cost housing and community participation in both rural and urban areas with the involvement of the Public Universities, NGOs, International Agencies and other institutions, both public and private.
At the time of the research development in the country, the Government did not take a lead role and was only leveraging little funds as research token especially to HABRI to supplement their work. These past initiatives involving research on the ABTs failed to materialise to the next stage of their development at a national scale. At present, the government through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is involved in promoting the adoption and use of Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSBs) developed by Hydraform Ltd from South Africa.
This study looked into the development and progress made in the promotion and use of ABMTs in Kenya. The information provided by the ABMT programme trainee beneficiaries and key informants revealed the need for close linkages between the sector players involving the government, research institutions and the private sector to realize full potential of affordable housing development in the country.

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