An elderly innovator and entrepreneur has come up with a new concept of building brick houses without using metal bars and concrete or steel reinforcement which reduces the cost by 75 percent.
John Dumas Gachara a retired draftsman from the Public Works Ministry said his new construction technology uses only quarry stones, sand, and cement without steel, hardcore filling and timber formwork that significantly reduces the cost.
Gachara said he has used the technology since 2007 when he managed to construct Lady Ann Delamare Secondary school at Barut in Nakuru County at half the cost.
Addressing a press conference in Nakuru town Friday, Gachara said as a draftsman who was in the pioneer class of African students who were trained at the Kenya Polytechnic College in 1966 and was selected to participate in the designing of materials for the iconic Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC), plus the eight provincial headquarters throughout the country, technical designing and drawing are engraved in his system.
He noted that the current school congestions and lack of classrooms which has led to some pupils learning under trees would easily be solved by his state-of-the-art building technology, which has the capacity of finishing a classroom in a record two days.
In addition, he said his revolutionized ideas of construction has totally eliminated the high cost of transporting materials since for those who live far away from the quarries his workshop can construct the slab, walls, and roof and carry them for joining at the site.
He also noted that his advanced technologies of new building concepts, despite his advanced age of over 70 was born out of the interest he has for the poor who have continued to live inside mad walled and floored houses, over 50 years after independence.
“As a child of the colonial era who lived in the slums in Naivasha and always dreamed of a better home, l feel embarrassed that in the 21st, century there are still many families which live in deplorable houses and l have made a covenant with my God to use the talent He gave me to solve housing problems,’’ he said.
However, Gachara said that his innovative mind was not just in the building industry as currently, he was working on solving the gaping fish deficit in the country, which will ensure that families have a constant supply by keeping them on their roofs instead of fishponds.
He urged African countries to solve their problems through innovation since the developed countries ideas were too costly to apply and implement in poor countries.
So far, Gachara has ten patent innovations rights registered to his name by Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) and the African Regional Intellectual Association Property Organization (OAPI) based in Harare, Zimbabwe.
by Veronica Bosibori