Meru University lecturer Dr. Joseph Mwiti has been feted for developing a cement product that is low cost and eco-friendly.
The don won the Kenya National Innovation Award for the year 2020 in the Built Environment and Housing Technologies Category for the successful development of circular cement which he says could be key in making housing more affordable in the country.
“The cement has been prepared by partial replacement of clinker in cement with local Secondary Cementitious Materials (SCM) as an innovative strategy to lower the cost of cement, promote utilization of wastes and provide greener cement for housing,” he said.
He said that high abundance and widespread distribution of different types of SCM provides a unique opportunity to produce circular cement in nearly all counties in Kenya.
According to Mwiti the innovation has already undergone testing and is ready to be rolled out into the market.
“Mass production is the next stage of this innovation with a view to deliver the product to the market soonest. This will catalyze the achievement of affordable housing agenda in Kenya, offer decent and affordable housing solutions such as slum eradication in developing counties,” he added.
A recent study by the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa found that in Nairobi, construction costs make the largest component of house prices followed by taxes (VAT & Sales).
Most costs are usually passed on to buyers in the form of higher house prices and house rents.