Infrastructure development amid climate change


By Alick Ponje:

The 2016 New Climate Economy Report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate underlined, again, what has almost become a clichéd statement from world leaders and all those advocating sustainable climate change fight: climate-smart, resilient infrastructure will be crucial for the world to adapt to the climate impacts.

Developing countries like Malawi—which seldom have a notable voice in large agreements on dealing with climate change—are bearing the brunt of climate change just like the rest of the world.


Droughts and floods, necessitated by adverse and unpredictable climate patterns, are no longer the big news—except that they prompt some cry for help from leaders in the event that crops are destroyed, lives lost and roads and bridges swept away.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate in its report titled ‘The sustainable infrastructure imperative: Financing for better growth and development’ recommended that ensuring that infrastructure is built to deliver sustainability is the only way to meet global goals on economic growth and to guarantee long-term, inclusive and resilient growth.

The report stated that investing in sustainable infrastructure was key to tackling three simultaneous challenges; reigniting global growth, delivering on sustainable development goals (SDGs) and reducing climate risk.


“Infrastructure underpins core economic activity and is an essential foundation for achieving inclusive sustainable growth. It is indispensable for development and poverty elimination, as it enhances access to basic services, education and work opportunities, and can boost human capital and quality of life.

“…Sustain ability means ensuring that the infrastructure we build is compatible with social and environmental goals… It also includes infrastructure that supports the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and contributes to enhanced livelihoods and social wellbeing,” the report said.

That is why Cashbuild, one of the largest hardware stores in the Southern Africa with stores in South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, is emphasising the availability of building materials what will produce structures that are resilient to climate change.

The entity, which has 260 stores in Southern Africa, opened its doors in Malawi on February 19 2004 in Lilongwe and later opened a second store in Blantyre on the December 5 2013.

“Cashbuild’s main purpose is to provide the Malawi nation with quality building materials at the lowest price. We provide building materials that last long not just to fit the purpose, but durable too. We understand that money is a scare resource, therefore, it is our role to provide quality building materials,” a note from the firm states.

It adds that other services Cashbuild provides include free delivery in a radius of five to 10 kilometres apart from cement on which a small amount is charged.

They also help in calculating estimated required raw materials for a building having looked at its plan.

Cashbuild Malawi is also taking part in corporate social responsibility initiatives by assisting schools with building materials.

The firm says this is a way of giving back to those who give them business and sustains its operations so that it continues contributing to national development.

“Cashbuild is the first choice retailer in its chosen field in all the regions in which it operates. It achieves this by carrying a focused in-depth quality product range at the most competitive prices, to meet the needs of the local market for homebuilders, home improvers, contractors, farmers, traders and any person wanting to purchase our quality building materials for cash,” it adds.

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