Building and Construction Regulator, National Construction Authority (NCA) and cement manufacturer Savannah Cement, have stepped up plans to train more than 10,000 masonry artisans to ensure strict compliance with the local building code. The artisans, drawn from all counties, will be trained in basic concrete mixing and stone laying techniques among other modules, as part of a joint artisans’ training initiative, dubbed: Mafundi Mufti, spearheaded by NCA and Savannah Cement, among other organisations in a strategic bid to entrench sound building and construction standards.
Speaking, when he hosted the firm’s training team, that recently participated in a Mafundi Mufti training session in Teso North Sub County, Savannah Cement, Managing Director, Mr. Ronald Ndegwa, said the partnership with NCA, is part of the firm’s commitment to raise fundamental technical skills awareness among the local masons. The training modules, to be delivered at an estimated cost of Kshs.15 million across the entire country he added, are also designed to raise the artisans’ knowledge to appropriately use concrete mixes for various applications.
Due to technological advancements touching on concrete mixing and introduction of new cement products, Ndegwa said, the Mafundi Mufti training sessions, will play a key role in uplifting the artisans’ skills and capacity to work with a variety of cements including Rapid Strength cement products. Use of rapid strength cements, which are normally marked as “R” on the bags, Ndegwa said, allows local masons and contractors to achieve more than 70% High Early strength concrete properties, in as little as 7days, which ultimately translates to significant cost and time savings in a project.
“We now have rapid strength cements and it’s imperative that industry players, begin to make a contribution in skills transfer for the fundis to guarantee quality and cost effective projects delivery,” Ndegwa said. “Through the Savannah Cement partnership with the NCA, we are delivering training modules that cover practical skills touching on concrete proportioning, mixing, and curing and cement selection,” he added.
Already, the Mafundi Mufti initiative, NCA in conjunction with Savannah Cement, have managed to train a pool of more than 500 masons drawn from Rarieda, Kiambu and Teso regions. The two organizations, target to train more than 5000 masons in all the 47 counties who shall in turn help to train their apprentices in their localities. This initiative will complement the fundi seminars savannah Cement has been hosting across the country for the last 3 years.
Poor use of concrete mixes has been cited as one of the key contributors to economic losses in the building and construction sector.
In Kenya, Savannah Cement is the key producer of the uniquely formulated Rapid setting cements to meet all building needs. Carrying the ‘R’ quality classification, Savannah Cement products are specially formulated to provide Rapid strength development which ensures improved customer profitability through enhanced productivity and construction efficiency.
As part of its corporate commitment to facilitate the adoption of rapid setting cements, Savannah Cement is currently enhancing its market distribution capacity across East Africa.
In recent months, Savannah Cement, has also, joined an initiative to improve housing for pastoralist communities through the provision of low-cost, durable, affordable, safe and eco-friendly manyatta housing units.
The Eco Manyatta project, which is geared towards uplifting the living standards of pastoralist’s communities in Kenya, targets to develop 5,000 housing units within the next 5 years. The project goal is to enhance the manyatta housing units using locally available materials, powered with readily available sustainable green energy supply from solar and biogas technology, harvested and stored rain water at sustainable cost for the poor pastoralists without interference to their lifestyles.
The Eco Manyatta Housing brings together the International Labor Organization (ILO), County Governments (currently Narok County), Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE), and Government of Kenya through Ministry of Labor, UNEP, UN-HABITAT, among other organizations.