EcoSouth expert in Mozambique

Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) has an important enclave of activities in the region of Tete in Mozambique, where they are involved in a program of deactivating mines left from the civil war, as well as community development. This development is channeled through organizational workshops in small communities, construction of schools, latrines, wells, and road repair.

AdobesWithin their development program NPA wants to confront those aspects of construction that contribute to disaster prevention, principally the erosion caused by the frequent inundations, as well as local production of construction materials with a view toward sustainability. They saw the necessity to identify local construction materials, introduce alternative technologies (construction/erosion), train technicians and others connected with the activities, visit a district severely affected by the erosion in order to provide criteria about the problem of erosion, as well as the construction of a bridge. For these tasks NPA called upon EcoSouth.

As important as the courses was provision of scientific and technical information, drawing upon existent EcoSouth material about production of MicroConcrete Roofing tiles, wall construction with cyclop concrete, and construction of houses with sun-baked clay bricks (adobe).

Based upon field visits a document entitled “Possibilities of Ecomaterials” was elaborated and its contents were shared with diverse people of the cities of Tete and Chimoio. Documents that focus upon construction under the particular conditions of Tete were also prepared: “Fabrication of tiles in the conditions of Tete” that was used in the course for technicians and “Construction with cyclop concrete in the specific conditions of Tete” that was used in raining NPA specialists in this technology. As well cost sheets in Excel were elaborated to calculate the price of the tiles, roofs and cyclop concrete.

Participants not only included NPA technicians, but also workers from the provinicial ministries of education, public works and defense.

At the end of the mission, the conclusions revealed that objective possibilities to introduce various ecomaterials do exist, especially in combination with the organizational workshops, participatory design and prevention of disasters, as well as improvement of many of the existing construction techniques in the Tete region.

Upon his return from Mozambique Prof. Nolasco Ruiz of CIDEM stated: “I consider myself committed as a professional in this movement that I am helping to start, and remain available through e-mail.”

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Martín Meléndez
Civil Engineer
Spanish and English
Microconcrete roofing tiles (MCR), CP 40 (alternative cement), adobe, tapial, burnt clay bricks, social organization, workshop planning for MCR and alternative cement, setup and implementation of housing projects, disaster prevention in construction


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