Climate change and building skills

Ojara is a clever housebuilder. He makes the bricks from the soil at the site where he shall build his house. He has to sundry the bricks before burning them. Before setting up the house, he needs to level the ground. He starts laying the bricks right on the soil as the sun is shining. As a good bricklayer, he completes the house. People move in and are happy with the new house.


We build houses for our needs. For instance, for living, working or entertainment.

In each country, there is a cultural way of building. A house in rural areas of Asia or Africa is different from a house in rural areas of Europe. In both areas, local building materials are commonly used. However, in some places they do not combine the building materials with new skills and techniques. In Africa and Asia, you will find that they still use building techniques as they have done for decades.

The news tell the story over again, like:

As the rainy season signals start in the country, a heavy down pour of rain in Kono District last Wednesday unroofed dozens of houses across three chiefdoms in the district rendering over three hundred people homeless. (Avoko May 07, 2014)

Heavy Rain Downpour destroys houses and churches in Kitwe (Lusakatimes Nov 22, 2015)

If you go to a town, you will find different kind of buildings and architectures. In cold countries like Scandinavia and Canada, you will find building technique focused on how to keep the heat inside the house in the cold season. In warm countries, like the Emirates, you will find buildings where they try to keep the heat outside and keep a cool temperature inside.

Additionally, we develop our ways of building houses. Houses built hundreds of years back are different from the houses we are building today. We use the knowledge of the climate in the last decades and we use the knowledge of climate change to develop new techniques for house building.

In some places, they are using the same techniques of building houses as they have always done independent of the climate change. During heavy rains, the houses get destroyed and they need to rebuild the houses. When the house disappear in a flood or a landslide, people rebuilt the houses at the same places. They use the same material and the same location and they will probably have a good house until the next heavy rainfall or flood.

Some of the effects of the climate changes are more rain and more floods. If people continue building as they always have done, they need to rebuild their houses more often as the rain and flood appear more often.

“During the final weekend of Ramadan, Niger's capital Niamey was hit by severe flooding. Overnight, thousands of homes and vital food crops were destroyed, leaving many of the country's poorest families without shelter or sustenance. “(The Guardian Friday 24 August 2012)

Some strategies to adapt to climate change are to develop new building materials, new building techniques and new ways of planning. In developed countries, new knowledge and new skills develop the standard of the buildings. However, in many countries, they have inadequate skills for building houses that can withstand the heavy rainfall and floods. Therefore, they risk being vulnerable to climate change. The rain comes and Ojara has to rebuild the house again.

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