The National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) has said is in the process of phasing out the use of burnt bricks for construction as one way of managing the environment.
Chairperson of NCIC Ben Chidyaonga made the remarks in an interview on Friday on the sidelines of the launch of the construction industry environmental management strategy (Ciems) at Grand Palace in Mzuzu.
He said at the moment, his council cannot stop individuals from using burnt bricks because it has not yet provided an alternative.
“We are now in the process of phasing out burnt bricks; but at the same time, we need to find an alternative material. We cannot just immediately phase out the burnt brick. It is an ongoing process,” said Chidyaonga.
He said the country is currently facing alarming degradation rates of the environment which is resulting in significant loss of soil fertility, erosion and serious deforestation, among others.
Chidyaonga further said the sustainability movement is a new concept for the construction industry and there is no comprehensive reference material and research to inform construction practitioners of the riskiest environmental impacts.
“NCIC commissioned the development of the strategy with an aim of documenting and prioritizing the most frequent environmental impacts of the construction industry in the country,” he said.
On his part, Director of Engineering at the Mzuzu City Council,Frazer Bondwe said construction destroys a lot of forest cover and disturbs the natural environment.
Bondwe said the strategy will however help in minimizing the impact. He said Malawi can follow the footsteps of other countries that banned the use of burnt bricks with concerted effort.
“We can do without burnt bricks; only if we all take part in the process,” he said.
Earlier in November, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka told the media that government is now considering formulating a law that will make it illegal to use burnt bricks for construction.