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Natural Earth As An Alternative Building Material

The aim of CAMI is to foster and promote the use of Earth Building in the remote areas of Nigeria. Earth Building is the practice of building using unfired earth material. Earth is used to construct walls, floors, roofs and even furniture, fireplaces and ovens. It is a building technology with an 11,000-year-old history and tradition, utilized worldwide. The Earth Building Association of Australia (EBAA) has estimated that about one third to one half of the worlds population is housed in earth homes today.

According to the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS), 25 % of the worlds population does not have access to decent housing. Many people globally can not afford manufactured building materials.

Population growth, together with increasing desertification and regression of forested areas, means that traditional building techniques using timber for roofing are no longer feasible. People in rural areas must now buy imported building materials which are often beyond the means of many people. Finding the funds becomes a major drain on family resources.

In addition many of the mud houses in Africa are not fired and must be rebuilt year after year. Millions of the existing earth structures in the world can be fired to become more durable and hygienic.

Earth Building is renewable technology because the material is often simply borrowed from the earth for the life of the building and can be reused and recycled indefinitely as a building material or returned to the earth. Furthermore the material is cheap and easily affordable by the poor people of remote parts of the country. Labor involved is readily available through community collaboration among the villagers.