LafargeHolcim launches Kumanga Malawi project in style
By Marcel Chimwala
There was glamour and pomp at Ufulu Gardens in Lilongwe’s Area 43 when the country’s leading cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim Malawi took to the venue to launch Kumanga Malawi, which is a comprehensive corporate social responsibility programme aimed at improving people’s livelihoods through interventions in various sectors including education, health and housing.
The launching ceremony, which attracted a number of stakeholders including government officials, architects and contractors included a cocktail party which allowed Lafarge officials to mingle with the stakeholders and share ideas on the project.
LafargeHolcim Malawi CEO Albert Sigei described Kumanga Malawi as the company’s coordinated approach to sustainable, long term stakeholder engagement.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Lafarge Cement understands and values its role as a thought leader in the construction industry,
Kumanga Malawi Program is built on four pillars which include road and workplace safety, training and product usage awareness, small and medium enterprises (SME) support and sustainable building solutions.
On Road and Workplace Safety, LafargeHolcim Malawi has spent $100,000 (K73.5 million) on on-going training of over 140 drivers from its logistics partners and staff to minimise road related incidents and loss of life.
We also partner with the Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services on general road safety matters,
As part of Training and Product Usage Awareness, Lafarge will revamp its masons training program to assist technical training providers in equipping masons with relevant skills for their trade.
Sigei explains that the company will also increase knowledge and information on correct cement products usage through mainstream media.
In the area of SME Support, LafargeHolcim Malawi will provide support to a growing base of 70 SMEs in business management skills as well as assisting and advising on access to working capital and entrepreneurial opportunities.
In terms of Sustainable Building Solutions; this is a pillar which is the key focus of the launch. It is involved with the provision of high quality, sustainable and low cost designs for schools, clinics and houses,
He explained that the LafargeHolcim Group which subscribes to international protocols on climate change such as UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement has, through the programme, taken a lead to introduce low cost, high quality and sustainable designs for schools, clinics and homes.
These innovative, forward looking and modern designs are aptly named Makono Schools, Makono Clinics and Makono Homes,
Speaking on behalf of Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Anna Kachikho, Principal Secretary for the Ministry Charles P. Msosa welcomed the Kumanga Malawi Programme saying it is aligned to the Government of Malawi’s flagship Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP) which aims at providing housing to low income households.
Kumanga Malawi will accord the Government, Non-governmental organisations as well as the private sector an opportunity to access professional designs of schools, clinics and homes that are environmentally friendly, scalable, and efficiently use local building resources,
He said of particular interest is the push towards sustainable building that will encourage use of renewable energy and aid the country’s migration from use of burnt bricks to Soil Stabilised Bricks (SSBs) and concrete blocks.
Such designs will certainly aid the Government’s own efforts to eradicate the use of burnt bricks, the negative environmental impact of which cannot be over emphasized,
In her speech, Malawi Institute of Architects (MIA) President Maliam Mdoko said the project will play a major role in boosting the professionalism of Malawian architects.
The Designs Competition
The project include a design competition, which will allow four architect-led teams to submit designs for Makono Schools, Makono Clinics and Makono Homes.
Detailed Terms of Reference have been developed by LafargeHolcim Malawi in collaboration with the National Construction Industry Council (NCIC), Malawi Institute of Architects (MIA), Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE), ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) and other professionals affiliated to the construction industry.
Although cash prizes will be awarded to the winning designs, the real winner is indeed the people of Malawi as these designs will push a new frontier in public and private construction,
Her words were supported by Msosa who said “it is a delight to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and indeed to the Government that a private sector partner, Lafarge Cement Malawi, has taken a lead in advancing the future of the country’s construction sector by investing time and resources in this worthwhile cause to design innovative, high quality and sustainable schools, clinics and homes.”
Lafarge Cement, which has been operating in the country for over 60 years, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the LafargeHolcim Group, the world leader in cement and related construction materials.
The company manufactures and markets four cement brands in Malawi, namely the multi purspose/ general usage cement Duracrete, the heavy duty Supaset cement and the masonry cements of Kumanga and Khoma.
It provides employment to approximately 300 people and partners with numerous local businesses to offer support through its supply chain.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 61 (May 2018).