Kayembe and the Class of 2017

Posted on August 28th, 2017

The trainees at Kayembe Primary School, HYT’s 11th community training project, have come a long way from building newspaper structures on interview day. Thanks to the expertise of HYT trainers and the generosity of international partners Water Charity, they have had the chance to practice building both a double classroom block and a rainwater harvesting tank.


HYT Uganda team building exercise at Kayembe Primary School

HYT doesn’t encourage building houses out of paper, except on interview day, where it is a key team building exercise.


Before commencing construction, the trainees were thoroughly versed in the arts of block-making, producing over 8000 interlocking stabilised soil blocks (ISSB). Some of these were cuboid, for the classroom, and some were curved, for the water tank. All of them were made from locally-sourced marram subsoil and cured in the sun, rather than being fired in a kiln using traditional methods.


HYT Uganda ISSB construction press at Kayembe Primary School

Jenipher has proved to the community that women can play a key role on any construction site!


HYT takes pride in efficient use of resources, and at this foundational stage in their masonry careers, trainees learn the importance of precise, responsible workmanship. Plaster, for example, is only applied to joints like corners and pillars, and tools such as building string, set squares and spirit levels are employed to make sure that they are coated as thinly and accurately as possible.


HYT Uganda plastering and set square at Kayembe Primary School

Moses has a particularly keen eye for detail, and has been leading the way in plastering class at Kayembe.


Of course, the gift of learning is extended by the trainees to the pupils of the school, who will soon be able to use the classroom for their own lessons. An indoor teaching space allows year-round classes free from distractions and the constant threat of rain.


HYT Uganda outdoor learning at Kayembe Primary School

Learning under the mango tree is not quite so idyllic when it’s pouring down with rain!


Rain can also be a blessing and, before it can get to the heads and papers of pupils at Kayembe, it will be caught by the 170m2 roof and channelled into the nearby 20,000L water tank. This saves pupils from going to fetch water from the community borehole which, in busy seasons, can consume up to 5 hours of learning time a week.


HYT Uganda pupils collect water at Kayembe Primary School

It is pupils who lose out on time in the classroom to go and collect water for drinking, cooking and washing.


The tank has also provided a practical training course for the building team, who now possess the skills necessary to produce these unique structures. Following their graduation, they will use their construction expertise to continue building, providing water for the region, food for their families and a new path for development that makes innovative use of, rather than exploiting, Uganda’s environmental heritage.


HYT Uganda sustainable ISSB construction team at Kayembe Primary School

Many thanks to Water Charity for helping to train a fantastic new tank team!

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