Adoption of hydraform - interlocking stabilized soil blocks (ISSBs) building technology and its impacts on environment in Nakuru county
Sangori, Robert O A
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The world growing population poses major challenges to the efforts championed by various Governments' in facilitating access to affordable and adequate housing for their citizens and this is true in Kenya. For this reason, there has been need for cheap and appropriate technology to assist in alleviating the problem of inadequate housing and affordable construction cost. This study focused on the extent of Hydraform-ISSBs technology adoption and environmental impacts in Nakuru County. The specific issues addressed in this study included extent of use, factors affecting adoption, environmental impacts and mitigation measures. The overall objective of the study was to assess the impacts of Hydraform- ISSBs to the environment within Nakuru County. The general hypothesis was that Hydraform-ISSBs technology was an environmentally appropriate technology and therefore no adverse effects on the Nakuru County environment. This study was carried out in Nakuru County from where the 35 Hydraform-ISSBs technology projects were included in the sample data. The 35 sites sampled were selected in such a way that the information sought on extent of use, factors affecting adoption, environmental impacts and mitigation measures could assist in solving the stated problem and meet the objectives of the study. To get the data required, a multi-stage sampling design was used where in the first place Constituency clusters were defined by the presence of the Hydraform-ISSBs technology projects sites. From the clusters list, six Constituencies were selected to reflect spatial representation in terms of soil, land use and type of application of the technology. The resulting data was then processed to create data code book which was used to create digital project database first in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which was then exported into SPSS and saved as a data file. The data were then subjected to analysis procedures starting with descriptive frequency and crosstabulation procedures respectively to reveal the sample data distribution tendencies. From the descriptive results, the data were further subjected to inferential analysis to reveal differences in Hydraform-ISSBs technology use, adoption, environmental impacts and mitigation measures using the t-statistic at a 0.05 in all cases. The spatial data were also used to reveal the spatial spread of the projects sites as captured in field GPS recording. The study revealed that there was gradual increase in Hydraform-ISSBs technology adoption but with slow uptake rate. Factors affecting adoption rate in the Nakuru County were found to include ease of construction with the blocks, savings in transport cost, existence of trained technicians and masons, low cost technology and good extension professional services. The environmental impacts were found to be mostly health related in terms of material preparation and block production processes, and natural resource depletion in terms of water use and agricultural land, which in all cases were found to be minimal. The study therefore concluded that the adoption of Hydraform-ISSBs technology was likely to be beneficial in improving access to and affordability of housing than being an environmental problem in Nakuru County. The study recommended that policy makers and implementers should take into account possible environmental impacts when promoting the adoption of Hydraform-ISSBs technology.