A Change is going to come!
Prefabricated methods of the production of sustainable housing systems, cannot only be used to produce a single dwelling unit.
If you build a single house for a man and his family, in most parts of West Africa, It does not necessarily help him. You are in fact doing him a questionable favour. In most parts of this region if you leave the man and his family on his own you have made him a ‘target’ for itinerant armed marauders who will, relieve the subject of his meagre valuables and probably ravish his wife! He will be lucky to escape with his life. [Depending on the mood of his assailants]
For a house to make sense in the tropical third world, [the chosen regional context] it has to be a subset of a group. It has to exist within a community of dwellings for various reasons, ranging from security [as touched upon above] to access to education, medical facilities community facilities and the attainment of a basic reasonable civilised living standard. This is a portion of life that is taken for granted in the developed world.
However vast swathes of West Africa are tightly held in the grip of near hunger, poverty and a lack of hope. Government efforts towards the eradication of disease and poverty have not begun to scratch the surface of the problems. They can therefore, in all reality, be ignored. Since sustainability is unlikely to be achieved from the top down, this research will enable the new approach of ‘from the bottom, upwards.’
Short Term Goal.
The IFHDA will adopt a ‘systems’ approach involving a “mobile low to medium cost housing factory” as a way forwards towards enabling better, 100% locally sourced, technologically appropriate (more efficient, better suited for purpose, cheaper and quicker) “deliverability” of acceptable sustainable housing in the African sub region.
To exercise an effective strategic role in the overall provision of housing in Africa as well as the facilitation of physical and otherwise
development by the utilization of voluntary un-paid country managers in each African country of activity. This strategy will ensure that administrative costs associated with the policies, initiatives and programmes will be kept to a bare minimum.
It has been said that change starts when someone sees the next step (Drayton, W. 2002)
Norman Vincent Peele also said that “imagination is the art of applying change to ones current situation, utilising innovation as a tool” (Peele, N.V. 1952)
We expect that this means not just change for change sake, but change as a means of moving a process or system forwards. The goal of this researcher is to harness the imagination to ‘drive through’ via innovation a shift in the way West Africans look at their housing problem.
There are over 245,000,000 people in this sub region and definitely not up to 2.0m own their own houses.
This suggests the ‘next step!’.