The Clay Brick Production Project

This page was first published on the 7th of February, 2015 and last updated on the 24th of August, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

DSC01659Guyanese mostly use cement and cement blocks for construction purposes, and this cement is imported from the comparatively wealthy island of Trinidad. It’s like we have a sworn allegiance to strengthen the Trinidadian economy.

But why does Guyanese have such a sworn allegiance to strengthen the Trinidadian economy? Is it that the two countries share such strong brotherly ties? While I don’t doubt one bit that Trinidad has been helpful to Guyana in more ways than one, it should be taken into consideration that Guyanese are not given free reign to go to Trinidad and work and return as they please. In fact, I can name more than one instance of Guyanese getting turned back for no substantial reason whatsoever, as soon as he or she had landed at the airport in Trinidad.

Nevertheless, this project will not have its merits in boycotting Trinidad industries, nor does it seek to blow cement and cement blocks completely out of the water. But what it will do though, is give the cement a good run for its money on the basis of the superiority of clay bricks over cement blocks.

The Superiority of Clay Bricks

Clay bricks are better construction material by far than cement blocks in terms of strength, beauty and durability.

Clay Bricks are Cheaper to Produce

With the right machinery and energy sources, clay bricks can be produced on a far more economical basis than cement.

We Need to Exploit Guyana’s Vast Clay Resources

If you ask any Economist, he or she will tell you that Guyana is exploiting way too little of its natural resources. Making use of the clay to aid construction of Guyanese buildings will boost the economy in ways we never thought possible.

We Need To Significantly Increase Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that Guyana produces way too little and imports way too much. Why this learned dependency? Why does everyone have to make everything for us and create such a major drain of the Guyanese dollar? Other countries are taking care of themselves when they push their products into our marketplaces. They give us a nice pat on on the back and take our money away. Do these countries care so much about the well being of the Guyanese people that we should allow them to do this? Isn’t it about time we started producing something more for ourselves?

Current Clay Brick Production Operations In Guyana: The Manual Method

I decided to investigate the current state of clay brick productions in Guyana in order to determine a number of factors. On the 23rd of May, 2015, I traveled to the Rupununi Savannas, which lies to the south of Guyana to investigate the current state of clay brick production there. I had been informed earlier that some amount of clay brick production were carried out in that region which is part of the county of Essequibo and borders with Brazil.

After gathering information, I traveled south of Lethem to the village of St. Ignatius. I was directed by locals there of a clay brick production operation going on the open savannas. Using a mountain cycle, I pedaled to the location and met a man heavily immersed in the activity of producing clay bricks by manual or primitive methods.

As I approached, the man greeted me warmly. I learned that he was a native of the neighboring country of Brazil, and did not speak English well. Nevertheless, being fluent in Portuguese, I was able to communicate with him.

He told me that he was employed by a Guyanese man named “Salvador”, who resided in the village of St. Ignatius. He was paid 6 Guyanese dollars for each clay brick he produced and he produced an average of 1000 clay bricks per day, earning GY$6000.00 per day (30 USD).

I am yet to meet Salvador and investigate the marketing potential for clay bricks in the Rupununi.

The pictures below shed some light on the clay brick production operations in Guyana. More will be added later.

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Recently Cast Clay Waiting To Be Fired.

Clay blocks walled up with a space in the middle to apply fire.

Clay Blocks Walled Up With A Space In The Middle To Apply Fire.

Stoking the Furnace - Delivery Heat to the Walls of Clay Blocks

Stoking the Furnace – Delivering Heat to the Walls of Clay Blocks

The Clay Blocks Packed And Fired.

The Clay Blocks Packed And Fired.

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay - Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay – Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay - Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay – Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay - Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay – Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay - Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay – Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay - Two Clay Blocks At A Time

The Mold Used to Cast the Clay – Two Clay Blocks At A Time

Water Mixed With Caustic Soda for the Production Process

Water Mixed With Caustic Soda for the Production Process

Caustic Soda Which Will Be Mixed In The Water For The Production Process

Caustic Soda Which Will Be Mixed In The Water For The Production Process

Baked And Unbaked Blocks Lying On The Ground

Baked And Unbaked Blocks Lying On The Ground

Wood Used To Fire The Furnace.

Wood Used To Fire The Clay.

Cutlass -Instrument For Cutting Wood

Cutlass -Instrument For Cutting Wood

Pit Dug In The Earth by Extracting Clay For Block Production

Pit Dug In The Earth by Extracting Clay For Block Production

Wheel Barrow Used For Transporting Blocks

Wheelbarrow Used For Transporting Blocks

Hoe Used For Digging.

Hoe Used For Digging.

The Worktable Where The Clay Will Be Cast

The Worktable Where The Clay Will Be Cast

The Worker Sprinkles Water On The Worktable

The Worker Sprinkles Water On The Worktable

The Clay Is Cast Into the Mold

The Clay Is Cast Into the Mold

The Clay Is Worked Into the Mold

The Clay Is Worked Into the Mold

The Clay Is Pressed And Smoothed

The Clay Is Pressed And Smoothed

The Mold Is Flipped Over And The Process Repeated

The Mold Is Flipped Over And The Process Repeated

Casting The Clay Into The Mold

Casting The Clay Into The Mold

Pressing And Smoothing The Clay

Pressing And Smoothing The Clay

Ready For Output

Ready For Output

The Worker Lifts The Double-Mold With Cast Blocks

The Worker Lifts The Double-Mold With Cast Blocks

The Worker Lifts The Double-Mold With Cast Blocks

The Worker Lifts The Double-Mold With Cast Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Outputting The Blocks

Blocks Have Been Outputted

Blocks Have Been Outputted – The Worker Returns With His Mold

Note: The time lapse between casting the clay and outputting the blocks is “less than two minutes”.

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Sand Is Strewn On The Ground To Prevent Uncured Blocks From Sticking

Up Next: Industrial Machines – The Future of Clay Brick Production In Guyana.

 

Project Coordinator: Patrick Carpen

Marketing Director:

Estimated Cost: US$1000,000.00

Project Status: Underway

Investment Opportunity: Please contact Patrick Carpen if you wish to invest in this project.

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