Posted on March 10th, 2017
HYT helps to put food on the tables of both Ugandan youths and schoolchildren. By training young, unemployed community members in sustainable Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) construction, we enable them to develop local infrastructure. Graduates of HYT’s training programme thus gain employment, building without damaging Uganda’s fragile environment, and providing important resources for communities. Among the many different structures that trainees learn to build are kitchens and rainwater harvesting tanks. These buildings are vital for meeting the basic dietary and sanitary needs of communities and their schools.
The kitchen here at Nakibungulya was built by youths during the training programme. Doing so afforded them the opportunity to learn a new construction style while providing the community with stronger, safer cooking facilities. The airy, unenclosed space enables cooks to prepare beans, posho, and maize porridge without being swamped by smoke. Children and teachers therefore go to lessons well-fed and able to participate fully in the learning process.
At Uganda Railways Primary school in Jinja, UK charity Children on the Edge commissioned a kitchen alongside the HYT-built Early Childhood Development Centre. The facilities now provide nourishment and education to economically disadvantaged children, who previously did not have access to such necessities.
Children are not the only beneficiaries of HYT’s state-of-the-art technology. Energy-saving stoves are installed in all of our kitchens in order to reduce firewood consumption. This saves money and helps to preserve Uganda’s increasingly threatened biodiversity.
Mama Jane’s Centre for Vulnerable Children also feed their staff and pupils using an HYT kitchen. Housed in one of Jinja’s historic Indian-style homes, the orphanage had to demolish its old kitchen, whose smoke was filling the enclosed courtyard. HYT’s new build dramatically reduced this issue with its large windows and ceiling ventilation pipe. The whole centre is now able to eat without worrying about clouds of dangerous smoke. According to Headmistress Agnes, “it helps us to cook much faster and it is less smoky”.
One of our most recent kitchens was constructed at the Refuge for Aids Victims and Orphans here in Mayuge. Thanks to the energy-saving stoves, the school has reduced its monthly firewood shipments from two truckloads to less than one! Water is also saved thanks to the two HYT-built rainwater harvesting tanks. This vital resource is not only used for porridge, but also for handwashing and cleaning of plates and surfaces, improving food hygiene as well as provision.
Through the construction of water tanks and kitchens, HYT helps to feed society’s most vulnerable members, without eating away at Uganda’s natural environment. The 35 water tanks scheduled for 2017 will continue to make use of ISSB technology, creating jobs for Ugandan youths, increasing access to food and water, and spreading sustainable construction methods.