The following Guidelines have been produced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development within the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to provide technical and practical advice to those involved with the construction of houses. The impetus for this was to support reconstruction activities in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Karonga, 6 and 20 of December 2009, to reduce risk of future damage and injury due to earthquake. While producing the Guidelines it was recognised that providing information and advice on Safer House Construction applied nationally and that risk reduction should not be limited to earthquake but include other causes of risk, such as flood, fire, landslide, and high winds.
The intention is that the Guidelines provide practical information and advice that is affordable, appropriate and sustainable. In this respect the Guidelines have been developed to build upon current construction practises where local skills and materials are used. Also that the Guidelines should be disseminated in a form that is easily understood, including those with limited or no technical training or background.
The Guidelines have been produced in collaboration with other Government Departments, UNHABITAT, Malawi Red Cross Society, TEVETA, CCODE, and the Malawi Institute of Engineers, with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank and DFID. A working group was formed and through a process of discussion and consultation the Guidelines are in the process of being developed after consultation with local and district government, interested organisations and NGOs. Communities and those involved with construction were also consulted to ensure that the Guidelines were providing the information needed and in a format was readily understood.
To accompany this technical manual, the Guidelines will be produced as a series of posters and pamphlets so that individuals and communities have access to the information. It is the intention that the Guidelines build on current good practise and that should in no way contradict any future development of building standards or codes.
It should be noted that this document is in the process of being developed and will be revised over a period of time. It is expected that there will be additions and revisions that will be captured in future editions of this manual.