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Study of Rural Housing in Mamba District Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

As one of the poorest countries in the world, Tanzania faces various kinds of problems. The housing situation is poor in the whole country, especially in rural areas where the main part of the population lives in mud houses.

The report is focused on modern houses and is aimed at finding sustainable low cost solutions to be used as alternatives for existing techniques. The report is based on a field study in the Mamba district, Tanzania during 8 weeks in 2009.

The traditional mud houses are poor and do not live up to a decent standard of living. The living conditions are extremely primitive in these houses and pose a health risk to the occupants. Modern houses provide a better standard of living and are good investments for future generations. The building design and technology can be rationalised and improved and building costs can be reduced through alternative methods.

There are several ways in which building costs can be reduced. Focus should be on using local materials to minimise expensive transport costs. Cement is the single most expensive building material and should be replaced by other materials where possible. However, it is important that sustainability of the construction is not impaired. In the long term, it is better to invest in proper sustainable building structures even if the costs will increase.

This study has resulted in sustainable low cost alternatives to the current building technology that the local builders can benefit from. Tradition is strong in Tanzania and changes may take long to implement. The alterations suggested and discussed in this report can be considered as a good basis for development of the current building design and technology in the Mamba district.
Source: Jönköping University
Author: Mattsson, Jenny

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