Training important in CHP activities

Along with trainees from the Vocational Training Centers, people from other parts of Namibia are able to learn at the Clay House Project. Recently the Municipality of Outapi sent two builders to be trained in clay building and tile-making. Another trainee is on his way from the Kaprivi area in the north of the country. A local producer of building materials in Otjiwarongo sent an employee to learn tile-making in order to begin MCR production.


From its beginnings in 1991, training has played a central role in CHP activities. In an ambitious training program in clay construction carried out my CHP co-founder Wiebke Volkmann 1995-96, the CHP complex in Orwetoveni was built. This complex is a living example of clay construction and continues to serve as the center of activities for current projects. Since 1997 students from the Vocational Training Centers in Windhoek and Okakara have been able to spend their apprentice period at the CHP learning not only to build in clay, but also the technology of MCR and building roofs with Micro Concrete Roofing tiles.

The current project of working with self-builders in the squatter area exposes the students to the social realities of their country and how to work together with their people to improve living conditions.

From the beginning the national problem of AIDS was recognized, and Wiebe Volkmann included condoms for the trainees, an idea that was continued during the closing years of the 20th century. It was been re-introduced in the current ambitious SODI project with self-builders in Orwetoveni by Beate Grunzke and has been enhanced with educational sessions about AIDS at the building sight guided by local health specialists.

Training at the CHP becomes more than learning technologies. It teaches people to work in their communities and take precautions with the AIDS menace that is devastating the African continent.

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Fernando Martirena
Civil Engineer, PhD. Professor.
Spanish, English, German.
Research and investigation of materials, specifically alternative cement and cement products.