Posted on March 2nd, 2018
Last Thursday, HYT celebrated one of its famous graduation ceremonies, this time for the 8 trainees at Kayembe Primary School. Drawn from the local community, these young Ugandans previously saw sugar-cane cutting as the main alternative to the unemployment gripping Kamuli. With HYT training, their future looks bright, as does that of Kayembe’s pupils.
The entire community gathered to celebrate the trainees’ achievements and to admire the structures they built from the ground up. 9 months ago, these youths had never handled, let alone manufactured and built with the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB). They will now use it to construct vital facilities such as classroom blocks, washrooms and water tanks.
The first structure to be completed here at Kayembe was the classroom block. This gave each trainee the chance to handle around 1000 blocks each.
Next came the tank, generously funded by Water Charity, and providing 20,000L of rainwater to the school’s pupils. HYT’s newest trainees from another Water Charity partnership in Mabira Forest attended the ceremony, where they were inspired by the young men and women who have completed these structures.
Finally, trainees put their new skills to the test on the staff house, which includes a set of innovative features. The interior wall is made of soil and sand only, dramatically reducing financial and environmental costs. The earthen floor was supervised by EarthEnable, reaffirming HYT’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 17: Climate Action and Partnership!
The One Village project has brought together four organisations (including the Royal Logistics Corps!), 8 trainees and an entire community. United through a desire to improve the lives of local schoolchildren and village youths, everyone here has given their all.
The highlight of the ceremony was undoubtedly Jenipher Nabutono’s graduation speech. As the first female graduate of HYT’s training programme, she has blazed a trail for women in Kamuli. She spoke of the challenging attitudes facing women in construction, including those of her own village.
Jenipher’s speech was followed by cheers and applause, as the people of Kayembe presented her with a new building square, trowel and other professional construction tools. It was clear that she had changed their lives as well as her own. Following graduation, she mas moved to another HYT site, where she leads Juliet, Rebecca, and the rest of the new trainees constructing water tanks in Mabira.
Posted on February 23rd, 2018
Last week, HYT visited Uganda’s prestigious Makerere University whose motto “We Build for the Future”, is an appropriate one. The team had arranged a meeting with Dr Moses Musaazi, legendary pioneer of Technology for Tomorrow, inventor of the award-winning MakaPad and, of course, the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB).
Of his many inventions, HYT was here to learn more about Moses’ latest compressed earth innovation. This involves using curved blocks to manufacture energy-saving stoves and latrines.
After building 16 round ISSB tanks last year, HYT is no stranger to the curved block. However, the latest design features a tighter curve, enabling the construction of stoves that can fit inside homes and institutions. According to Dr Musaazi, smoke won’t be a problem, as the stoves are up to 50% more efficient than traditional 3-stone cooking methods.
Dr. Musaazi has already built over 2,000 of these stoves, some within Makerere itself. He recommended we visit Africa Hall, a residence for the university’s female students, whose kitchen staff use the stoves every day.
Here we met Moses, a chef who was happy to tell us about how the stoves have transformed cooking at Africa Hall:
“I really appreciate the two stoves, especially the bigger one. It’s very safe, you can even touch it!”
Unlike some of the kitchen’s older, metal stoves, the ISSB versions insulate the warmth so well that the interior can stay hot all day, without emitting flames or uncomfortable levels of heat.
The stoves have made the kitchen a safer, healthier work environment for Moses and his colleagues. Their ability to retain heat has also reduced firewood consumption, helping to preserve a healthy environment for us all!