The Centre for Community Organisation and Development (Ccode) has said Malawi would save many trees if bricks burnt using coal and industrial wastes were introduced in the country.
In a recent interview, Ccode communications and advocacy officer Wonderful Hunga said the new Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) technology which he said reduces energy consumption when making bricks, is being used in South Africa, India and other countries.
â€œWith high rates of urbanisation in Malawi, it is estimated that 21 000 housing units are required annually to meet urban housing needs over the next 10 years.
â€œIf an average of 85 000 burnt bricks are required to construct a single urban house, almost 180 million burnt bricks are required each year to meet urban housing demands. If we include public infrastructure requirements and rural buildings, the demand is much greater,â€ said Hunga.
He said Ccode in collaboration with an Indian NGO, Tara, have conducted a feasibility study which has shown that green bricks would be economical to produce in Malawi.
Tara team leader Soumen Maity said the new technology would, however, require a lot of initial capital as special equipment is required to produce the bricks.
â€œApart from stopping deforestation, it would also introduce quality bricks with standard sizes and strength for better building structures,â€ said Maity.