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25.05.2004 Regional News

Earth construction technology workshops ends in Bolga

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Bolgatanga, May 25, GNA - A ten-day workshop on sustainable earth construction technology for 19 technical teachers drawn from junior and senior secondary schools, and technical institutions in the Upper East Region has ended in Bolgatanga at the weekend.

The Catholic Bishop of Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, Most Reverend Lucas Abadamlora commended sponsors of the workshop, including CRATerre-EAG International Centre for Earth Construction of the School of Architecture of Grenoble in France for promoting the use of earth technology in the construction of affordable houses.

In a statement read for him, Bishop Abadamlora said the diocese was reviving interest in earth technology for building houses because about 70 per cent of Ghanaians live in such houses made of these materials. He cited the Navrongo Cathedral, which was built of earth materials about 84 year ago as a good example of using local and less expensive materials for constructing buildings that can stand the test of time. Bishop Abadamlora said improved earth-technology when adopted for the housing industry would solve the increasing demand for houses.

Mr. Amoah Mensah of the Building and Road Research Institute (BRRI), facilitator of the workshop, noted that because Earth Technology lacked documentation on its advantages, tended to make it look inferior. The Project Manager of Human Settlements in France, Mr. Oliver Moles, said his outfit has undertaken detailed research and documentation on earth technology for improved housing and urged the participants to put to good use what they had leant at the workshop. The Course Prefect, Mr. Paul Amissah, called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to make Earth building technology examinable in the technical syllabus.

He said participants had already drawn up a proposed syllabus for the subject, which would be forwarded to the authorities for consideration.

Mr. Amissah said now that they have been well trained in the technology, participants would help to spread the message. The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic diocese organized the worksop in collaboration with BRRI, Human Settlements and CRATerre-EAG International Centre for Earth Construction of the School of Architecture of Grenoble in France.