The Star (Nairobi)

27 August 2014

Kenya: Trans Nzoia to Make Own Blocks for Classroom Construction

The Trans Nzoia County government plans to purchase 25 machines for interlocking blocks to reduce the cost of building in schools.

Governor Patrick Khaemba has said that each of the twenty five wards will get one interlocking machine.

This means the county has budgeted an estimated Sh.87.5 million for the project since an interlocking machine costs Sh3.5 million.

Use of interlocking soil blocks to build classroom across Trans Nzoia is expected to cut construction costs by as much as 50 per cent as the technology uses locally available materials. Construction time will also be reduced significantly.

Khaemba said although the schools are under the national government's budget, the classrooms are in pathetic condition.

The county has already purchased seven of such machines which have started the work in schools, the governor said.

He urged the national government to devolve money for buying school equipment to enhance efficiency and proper learning environment.

"There has been a lot of disparity in construction of classrooms in the country and only county governments should be in charge of classrooms construction and other materials used to put up structures in schools," said Khaemba.

The county has laid out plans to construct four classrooms in each school in addition to putting up new structures for proposed 25 youth polytechnics in the region.

Production of the interlocking blocks takes up to 10 days, including three days of preparation and seven days to cure. Laying out the blocks takes three to four days to set up a classroom.

In February, Khaemba unveiled the deal with Turkish firm Euromart at Benon Primary School where a classroom has been already constructed using the blocks.

Stanley Karin, a director of the Turkish firm, said it has trained 20 youths in Trans Nzoia to operate the machines.

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