Green Jobs

Promoting Affordable Greener Housing in Zambia

The ILO Zambia Green Jobs Programme and Lafarge launched in Lusaka "Building Greener Cities", a sustainable and affordable housing project for Zambian families.

Press release | Lusaka | 01 April 2016
LUSAKA (ILO News) - The Zambia Green Jobs Programme in partnership with Lafarge Zambia launched affordable demo houses in Musamba, Chilanga District showcasing unique technologies that will provide increased employment opportunities.

According to Zambia's vision 2030, over a million Zambians families are in need of homes, making housing a top priority for the Zambian Government and social partners.

The objective of the Lafarge-ZGJP partnership is to build homes cost-effectively and to make them available to a large number of population, while preserving and protecting people and the environment and creating opportunities for decent jobs.


During the launch, two newly constructed demonstration units were unveiled in the Musamba compound of Lusaka. The units have been built by Zambian SMEs with innovative ideas on sustainable low-cost affordable housing construction techniques such as the Habiterra Blocks which have been used in the construction of the first house built by Habiterra Zambia.

The second demo house has been built using Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks (CSEB) and was constructed by People's Process for Housing and Poverty in Zambia, an organisation promoting low-cost affordable housing construction practices through engagement of local labour and use of local building materials. Each unit costs USD 25 000 to build.

The launch took place at Lafarge Head Quarters in the presence of Hon. Nicholas Banda, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, Lafarge Chief Executive Officer Mr Emmanuel Rigaux, Finnish Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Timo Olkkonen, and French Ambassador to Zambia, Mr Emmanuel Cohet, International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office-Lusaka Director Mr Alexio Musindo and Chilanga District Commissioner Mrs Edith Muwana.

“It is apparent that the use of the technologies utilized in the Musamba Demo houses will not only provide sustainable houses but will also create great opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises in Zambia", Lafarge CEO Emmanuel Rigaux said.

Meanwhile, Hon. Banda congratulated Lafarge Zambia and ZGJP on a successful partnership and further stated that the Ministry stands ready to work with cooperating partners to ensure most effective ways of constructing affordable housing units for Zambians.

Referring to the agreement of the Paris Climate Conference "COP 21", French Ambassador Mr Cohet expressed that the partnership between Lafarge Zambia Plc and ZGJP is a good example of practical solutions to fight climate change and also allow for development for people.

Finnish Ambassador Timo Olkkonen expressed his support for the partnership between Lafarge and ZGJP. He further recommitted Finnish support to the ZGJP stating that the good results of the programme are validating the belief that a socially and environmentally responsible private sector can play a key role in promoting sustainable development and creating decent jobs in Zambia like elsewhere in the world.

ILO Director, Alexio Musindo expressed his sincere thanks to the Government of Zambia and the Government of Finland for their support and stated that the ongoing partnership between the Zambia Green Jobs Programme and Lafarge Zambia is in itself a proof of concept for sustainable construction, demonstrating the market potential of green buildings and decent green job creation.

Lafarge - Zambia Green Jobs Programme Partnership:

The ongoing partnership between Lafarge Zambia Plc and the Green Jobs Programme of the Government of Zambia with financial support from the Government of Finland and technical assistance from the United Nations, demonstrates the market potential of green buildings and decent green job creation.

It has resulted in sustainable construction solutions that showcase alternative building technologies, design and construction practices that allow people to build more affordably and sustainably. In addition, technical assessments of the design and construction methods used have been conducted to further test the sustainability.

The partnership will result in at least 800 affordable housing units for middle income families in Lusaka and Ndola linking construction MSMEs along the local value-chain and facilitating their access to business development services. In addition, the affordable housing project is expected to create over 3,000 more and better green jobs in Zambia.

Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB) consist of a mixture of earth (soil sourced from site) and cement that are then compressed manually or mechanically prior to curing of the blocks. This technology is cheaper than fired bricks or concrete blocks as the earth used is locally excavated on site. CSEB is a labour-intensive technology requiring little to no construction training, thus providing employment for the majority population.

Habiterra Block technology is an eco-friendly mortarless inter-locking concrete block system that can be used for residential, commercial and industrial needs. These blocks boast a time saving of 75% compared to conventional methods and approximately 36% of cost savings.

Contact: Ms. Helene Thor, JPO -Zambia Green Jobs Project, thor@ilo.org