LafargeHolcim launches Kumanga Malawi project architectural competition

Lilongwe: LafargeHolcim Malawi (LCM) on Friday launched Kumanga project aimed at imparting knowledge and tools that would enable various community members improve their livelihoods and well-being’s.

The competition is encouraging engineers and architects to come up with designs of a school, hospital or house that cannot cost more money but should be beautiful, safe and affordable to every Malawian.

Speaking during the launch, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Charles Msosa said the competition is a welcome development as the country needs durable houses to avoid preventable deaths in times of disasters.

He said the initiative by LafargeHolcim Malawi was adding value to governments’ desire of providing decent houses to all Malawians, through programmes like the Malata subsidy; which targets people in rural areas, of low income, those physically challenged among others to at least own a decent house.

Government has policy that requires the people in Malawi to have better houses and institutions like Malawi Housing Cooperation and cities subscribe to this policy.

So what Lafarge has done is demonstrating that it is also one of the important players in the housing industry, Msosa pointed out.

Chief Executive Officer for LafargeHolcim Malawi, Albert Sigei said the Kumanga Malawi Programme is built on the foundation of quality products from a reputable brand with structured nationwide distribution channels.

He said the programme is anchored on four pillars of Road and Workplace Safety, Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) support Training and Product Usage Awareness which comprises of Umisili programme, product usage, bursaries and internship.

On Sustainable Building Solutions which comprises categories of education, health and housing.

Kumanga Malawi is thus anchored on these four pillars with the aim to impact knowledge and tools that will enable members of our communities improve their livelihoods and circumstances.

At the same time, the program is showcasing LCM as a forward thinking, environmentally conscience corporate citizen,’Sigei added.

President for Malawi Institute for Architects (MIA) Maliam Mdoko said it was important to understand the role architects play in infrastructure development as well as their economic contribution to the country.

She said architects in conjunction with other allied professionals such as engineers have a major role to provide solutions to the various challenges the construction industry is facing, including on issues of environment.

Frankly, we cannot deny that we have contributed towards the degradation of the environment. It is now time to correct the situation. We need to be protagonists of positive change and transformation of our country.

We need to engage ourselves in research, to come up with relevant, sustainable and innovative solutions for the development challenges facing our communities and our beloved country at large, Mdoko stated.

She said the country has very capable architects with vast experience and knowledge as well as the profound understanding of the country’s needs in terms of architectural considerations for the various locations and weather conditions.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA