Christmas Greetings from HYT

Posted on December 14th, 2017

2017 has been the most exciting year in HYT’s decade of working in Uganda. While the highlight was perhaps winning the prestigious Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings, we have trained our first women builders, undertaken a large rainwater tank project and have seen HYT working for the first time in Mabira’s spectacular but endangered tropical forest.


Irene & Johnson in Mabira

Irene & Johnson are key members of the new tank building team here in Mabira.


“The benefits of this scheme go way beyond the environmental impact – reducing deforestation and curbing CO2 emissions through a low carbon building technique – and encompass health, training, employment opportunities, even access to education”

2017 Ashden Judging Panel

Winning the Ashden International Award in June was a tremendous accolade marking international recognition for the One Village at a Time training projects. The judging panel was impressed with the holistic approach to HYT’s work, where young Ugandans are empowered with new skills, school communities are transformed and the fragile Ugandan environment preserved.


Check out HYT’s Ashden page and tailor-made film!


The 2017 Ashden Awards Ceremony

Jane Sandars (The Westminster Foundation), Mauricia Nambatya (HYT), Charlie Tebbutt (HYT), Russell Matcham (HYT). Image by Andy Aitchison / Ashden.

“HYT’s model is a simple one but is scalable and robust” 2017 Ashden Judging Panel

We are determined to make the most of the award and already have exciting plans for the new year, including constructing a model development in Mabira forest, which will showcase HYT’s innovative approach to training and low-cost, environmentally-friendly building.  HYT is already working in Mabira, one of Uganda’s last remaining large rainforests, where we have installed water tanks for communities in the forest.


Mabira Forest Water Collection

HYT’s ISSB water tanks provide real solutions to water pollution and deforestation here in Mabira.

“A truly unforgettable experience and a beautiful country”

The Haileybury school trip in October saw 20 Upper 6th girls and boys visiting a range of HYT sites, seeing in action our innovative approach to building, meeting the team and developing a deeper understanding of what we do and why. We hope these young men and women will stay interested supporters of the charity. They seem pretty enthusiastic from what they say here:

“I was amazed to see how the HYT staff were working constantly and efficiently in the Ugandan heat”

Haileybury Trip to Sipi

This year’s upper sixth embraced Ugandan life, from HYT sites to the stunning Sipi falls. Image by Graeme Tyndall / Haileybury.

“What interested me most about the Uganda trip and what I enjoyed most was getting to know the HYT workers and seeing firsthand what they do”

One site visit by the Haileybury students was to RAVO (Refuge for Aid Victims and Vulnerable Orphans). Thanks to the funding by a private donor, these children at the margins of Ugandan society now have a roof over their heads, clean toilets and ready access to water. These are things that we take for granted but are not so in one of the world’s poorest countries.

“Uganda was an unforgettable experience which allowed me to witness first firsthand the value of HYT to communities across the country”


RAVO Boarders

Since the new dormitories were completed, the number of boarders at RAVO has increased by more than 30%!


The Trust has just completed a project jointly funded by HYT, the Rotary Club of Marlow, its sister clubs in Europe and the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Trust. By installing water tanks and latrines in four rural schools, 1,727 children will benefit in all kinds of ways from this transformation to their schools. Improving water and sanitation facilities meets one of the Sustainable Development Goals.


HYT Water Tank at Bulondo

During the rainy season, children here at Bulondo no longer need to visit the borehole thanks to the new tank!


HYT meets several of the United Nation’s SDGs:


HYT supports Decent Work and Economic Growth

HYT has trained 23 new masons this year, making a total of 114 since 2006.


HYT has employed more than 50 graduates across its sites in 2017!


HYT supports Climate Action

In 2017 HYT has saved:


708 MWh of embodied energy, the equivalent of burning nearly 260,000 kg  of coal.


114 tonnes of firewood.


24 mature trees like this one:



The ‘One Village at a Time’ project remains at the heart of HYT’s activity. We are proud to be well into double figures, having trained more than 100 young Ugandans, giving them new skills, new opportunities and for many, new work.  We are now nearing completion at One Village 11 in Kayembe, where the training team is developing skills with yet more Ugandans, while transforming the local school, sustainably.


Water Charity Tank at Kayembe

Trainees here at Kayembe have had the chance to work on a water tank, classroom and innovative staff accommodation.


It has been a year of growth, achievement and excitement from which the team can take a great sense of pride. It has been a year of success. But there is much more to do. With your support, HYT will continue to empower more Ugandans and transform more communities in 2018 – and beyond.


Merry Christmas from St. Patrick

The children at St. Patrick Primary School will be getting a new library and computer lab this Christmas!


Season’s Greetings from us all.

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Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at

Make it Rain in Mabira: Tanks, Training and Trees Galore!

Posted on December 1st, 2017

It’s been over a month since HYT started work on the Mabira Forest Rainwater Harvesting Project. The team has already completed two out of six water tanks, learning much about sustainable construction in the process.


Mabira Water Level

The team is gelling well as trainees learn to use equipment like the water level.


The project began at Kikube Primary School, where trainees assembled to start learning about the Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB). They were taught in the best way possible – through practical construction, making and building with a total of 650 blocks. By the end of the project, they’ll have made nearly 4,000!


Trainer Musa in Mabira

Trainer Musa has made thousands of blocks since his graduation from an HYT training programme in 2010.


The tank at Kikube will provide clean, accessible water for 223 pupils, and the school plans to sell excess water to the local community. This will maximise teaching time for the children by reducing their trips to the borehole, and give the school a little spending money to improve its facilities.


Tank at Kikube, Mabira

Apparently it is also a nice place for teachers to sit and enjoy fene, or jackfruit… 


Mabira Forest stretches for over 30,000 ha along the Kampala-Jinja Expressway, and HYT’s partner schools are spread across the region. For trainees like Irene, a single mother determined to complete the training programme and obtain decent employment, this presents a challenge.


Raymond at Mabira

Musa and the team have formed the first HYT crèche to care for little Raymond while his mother Irene learns to build.


However, HYT requests that schools contribute to projects through feeding, accommodation and site security, to promote a sense of community participation and ownership. Kasoga has done so enthusiastically and efficiently, and Irene and her son will be residents for the duration of the training programme.


Tank Interior Kasoga, Mabira

If the tank can fit trainees Erisa and Irene, imagine how much water it can hold!


The tank here at Kasoga will supply the school’s 139 girls and 145 boys with water for cleaning, cooking and drinking. Its 10,000L capacity makes use of the forest’s regular rainfall, without damaging the trees that maintain it!


Brick Burning in Mabira

Brick burning combines the destructive practices of clay and firewood extraction to damage a whole suite of ecosystem services.


HYT is committed to communicating the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness to all of its trainees and their communities. Here in Mabira it is particularly crucial, given the growing pressures on the forest from agriculture and brick burning.


Mabira Trainee Dennis

Trainee Dennis used to make burnt bricks before he joined the training programme. He is now encouraging his friends to adopt what he sees as the building technology of the future.


Bringing sustainable construction skills and the benefits of decent water and sanitation to Mabira’s communities can feel like a race against time, but it’s one worth running. By solving local challenges with local people, HYT and its building teams are part of the solution to climate change and biodiversity loss here in Mabira, and across Uganda.


Keep up-to-date with HYT’s work by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.









Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at