Improving the Resistance of Locally Available Timbers to Termites

A person building a structure.

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The commonly available timber types used for shelter framing and roofing in Northeast Nigeria are varieties that do not resist termites. This causes serious challenges on the lifespan of the shelters provided by humanitarian actors, thus requiring continuous maintenance to avoid severe termite attacks.

Techniques adopted in recent years have been ineffective and have not resolved the issue. In view of these concerns, Mercy Corps deemed it necessary to carry out a study that will investigate best practices in employing local techniques and using low-cost materials to improve timber resistance to termites.

The study showed that salt, neem tree trunk ash and used engine oil are effective against termite followed by charcoal, hence are recommended for usage. The identified local materials are readily available and economical in Northeast Nigeria. They are also environmentally friendly with the local communities showing social and cultural acceptability for their usage to treat termites.