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VILLA CLARA." Despite all achievements, the construction materials production cannot still meet the housing needs across the country or help with the current crisis when it comes to the rational use of resources.

A workshop in Santa Clara is quite far from acheving its true production potential.

No exigency, control or initiative to implement one of the most important contruction plans undertaken by the Revolution halt its development in some provinces, and Villa Clara is a clear example of this.

Recently, in those 34 workshops in seven provinces, only a 12 or 15 percent of installed capacities were exploited, although in the last months it amounted to 30 percent. However we, don´t still understand the importance of such a project.

In spite of all outcomes, there are too many reasons to be unpleased. An example is the low pozzolanic cement production, with a combination of lime, zeolite and ash from the sugar industry, among others.

"We could make almost 140 tons of such material monthly, which would allow us to replace a 40 percent of the Portland cement: However, it is much easier if the State continues supplying this.

New times, new mentalities

The solution to the problems linked to the different alternatives used by some people to get construction materials has broken the skemes and created a new mentality according to the current and future reality.

Due to this, in June 2009, the Cuban government asked the CIDEM to share their experiences on the development of new technology in order to have a local production of alternative construction materials.

This idea was passed and then spread to every province. As a result, the Work Group for the Production of Local Housing Materials, chaired by Construction minister Fidel Figueroa was created.


A visit to some alternative construction materials production centers showed the reasons why specialists are not pleased with the production figures so far and how far we are from true potentialities.

Manicaragua is the best example: last month five workers produced 12,200 bricks with the only machine available; however, they have been two weeks at a standstill due to the lack of cement, said director of this factory Odalis Miranda, who said the have never used zeolite from the San Juan quarry. There are other places with other difficulties.

Blackouts have also caused some problems in this sector as well as bad working conditions. This has pushed managers to reduce the working hours.

These are some examples showing that small problems can bring about bigger ones.

Granma, Freddy Pérez Cabreras

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