Tanzania looking into bamboo as a cheaper alternative for construction


Tanzania’s National Housing and Building Research Agency (NHBRA) is running a study on the possibility of using bamboo poles for the manufacturing of doors, windows and roofing materials according to the Daily News.

The research which might take up to three years is looking for low cost building materials that will enable those living in Tanzania to live in modern houses at a low cost. Which could potentially improving housing for middle and low income people, thereby refining housing standards in the country.

“In that case, people will be required to invest in bamboo farming because they will be needed as low cost tools for manufacturing building materials,” said NHBRA Director General, Dr Matiko Mturi, to the Daily News.

The government is looking to solve the shortage of houses. According to Dr. Mturi, Tanzania is facing a big challenged in housing since recent statistics show a major decline. He further said that in 1969 the shortage of houses in the country stood at 21,000 units, in 1974 the number grew to 25,000 and the 2012 census showed that Tanzania needs at least three million houses for its people.

“We have managed to conduct studies and come up with low cost bricks. These are produced from clay soil and a little amount of cement. They are durable and strong. Many people are using them now,” he said.

With plenty of clay soil in the East African nations, Tanzanians can easily produce bricks which has cut down building costs by half.

“For the house, which would have cost for example 40m/-, a person can build it at 20m/- only.” He said