Bamburi stirs up Nairobi market with Sh0.5m homes

Bamburi plant in Mombasa
A truck at the Bamburi plant in Mombasa. PHOTO/FILE
Bamburi Cement is seeking to grow sales by offering its customers free customised low cost house models and technical support during construction.

The cement manufacturer says it has done cost estimates and designed 30 architectural drawings of homes costing Sh500,000 to Sh5.2 million to build.

The initiative, which is christened Maskani, is designed for residential homes — bungalows, maisonettes and incremental houses and it will see Bamburi partner with banks and distributors to fund projects without paying out money directly to customers so as to tie them to its products.

“The customer will pick from the set of design and we will then link them to a financial institution which will provide the money. We will give them a bill quantities for their specific choice and then connect them with our local distributors who will provide all the materials,” says Bamburi Cement head of marketing Irene Onacha.

The company is currently in talks with three microfinance institutions and two banks to act as the official lenders for the project.

Maskani, according to Bamburi Cement managing director Bruno Pescheux, is initially being carried out in Nairobi and will progressively expand to other regions by December.

Bamburi will assist home owners to apply for building approvals and occupancy certificate from the county government but the customers will bear the costs.

Bamburi will also offer technical support during construction to ensure the buildings are up to standard and to minimise wastage of building materials.

The programme seeks to grow Bamburi’s sales in the wake of intensified competition that has slashed cement prices in the country to a 13-year low.

Kenya is among nine African countries earmarked by Bamburi’s parent company Lafarge for the development of low cost housing. The firm is seeking to improve living conditions of at least million people by 2020.