Spring Greetings from HYT

Posted on March 22nd, 2016

As spring arrives in the UK, so the rains arrive in Uganda, which is good! Good for the farmers and good for HYT’s water tanks, which fill rapidly, giving hundreds of school children water on tap (literally!) for cooking and washing. Installing water tanks is an HYT speciality as can be seen from the ‘Batten blog’ below.


Children at 1V7 using water from the Batten tank to wash their hands before lunch

Children at 1V7 using water from the Batten tank to wash their hands before lunch


It has been a wonderful few months for HYT. Country Manager Marcus Farnfield has energetically led the growing team of skilled Ugandan masons and HYT trainees in a number of innovative projects, including the remarkable One Billion joint venture and in developing an innovative design and build for teachers (see below). The connection with Haileybury remains strong: Marcus was joined by volunteers Rachel Clark and Ben Landymore before Christmas and now has Talia Bartlett and Dan Gaskell to help. Our focus remains with Ugandans however and experienced civil engineer Mauricia Nambatya, the Assistant Country Manager, is already making her mark as we continuously seek to improve the quality of our training and buildings.


Marcus and the interns talking to children at 1V8

Marcus and the interns talking to children at 1V8


As HYT approaches its tenth anniversary of working in Uganda, our work continues to expand, with more young Ugandans than ever being trained in sustainable construction and the One Village at a Time project transforming the lives of hundreds of poor Ugandan families across rural Kamuli district. The tenth ‘One Village’ is about to begin, with HYT trainees acquiring new skills, while developing essential facilities, including classrooms, latrines and dormitories in their communities.

Trainees at 1V8 mixing cement for the staff accommodation

Trainees at 1V8 mixing cement for the staff accommodation



HYT’s decade in Uganda is a remarkable success story, with lives and opportunity dramatically transformed in a way that is sustainable and does not cost the earth.

Have a look at some of these stories and see for yourself what progress is being made in this beautiful but poor African country.


At the oneclass in Nabirma Primary school children wait excitedly for their turn on the iPads

At the oneclass in Nabirma Primary school children wait excitedly for their turn on the iPads


Happy Easter and thank you for your wonderful support. We could not do it without you.


Russell Matcham




This is the rainy season in Uganda and the water is flowing freely from the rainwater storage tank at Nakibungulya Primary School, built by HYT as part of its One Village at a Time training programme. Haileybury’s Batten House has a wonderful tradition of support for charity and for HYT in particular, with boys from the boarding house raising funds every year for selected good causes. The Batten Bistro, a legendary fixture in the Haileybury charity calendar, has raised thousands of pounds in recent years for HYT.


Children washing their hands in the new HYT tank


While we take water on tap for granted, it is not the case in Uganda, where children still sometimes walk long distances to collect water, often missing school as a result. A simple rainwater storage tank, like the Batten Tank shown here, means much less time is wasted collecting water, children have more time learning at school and there is a hand washing point before meals.


The Batten tank and staff accommodation



Mr Nelson Mulemezi, a teacher at Nakibungulya, lives at the school and also uses water from the tank. ‘The new tank means we no longer have to walk 4 kilometres to the bore hole,’ he said. ‘And children are not walking off during their breaks to find water,’ Nelson added.


Using the block-making press supplied by HYT and employing some of the graduates from HYT’s training programme, the school now intends to build a teachers’ latrine and washroom to go with its shiny new water tank, funded by the boys of Batten!  The next Batten Bistro is to be held on 24th April, with funds again going to support HYT’s remarkable work in Uganda.


1v7 water tank-3

The separated tap from the tank reduces damage from vandalism as the tap is usually a target


HYT volunteer Dan Gaskell has made a short film of the Batten Tank in action, which you can see here:…..




HYT is leading the way in innovative development in Uganda with two unique pilot projects. Working with another UK NGO One Billion, HYT has introduced tablet-based learning in a school in rural Jinja district. Using solar-powered tablets and a remarkable program produced in Lusoga, the local language, primary school children are making amazing progress in maths – working at their own pace while being monitored in real time over the internet.  



The oneclass at Nabirama Primary school


The children spend thirty minutes a day working with the tablets in the HYT-constructed, purpose-built learning centre, which has two further classes and a water tank attached. The children are so absorbed in their work, they take no notice of visitors in the room, even if they have cameras!



Children in their iPad session matching and sorting socks, fruit and fish on level one of the onebillion app





Following the successful launch of this innovative and exciting project, HYT has agreed with the local government in Jinja to extend the pilot to a further four schools in the area. Andrew Ashe, CEO of HYT partner charity, One Billion, said of the HYT-built classrooms: ‘I have never seen such beautifully constructed classrooms in Africa.’




Singing and dancing at the opening of the oneclass!



In another exciting development, HYT has joined forces with a leading UK firm of architects, to design and build a house for young professionals in Kamuli district. The two architects who have designed the house work with Stirling award winners FCB Studios and have been to Uganda to oversee the construction of the house.



The staff accommodation at 1V8 designed by architects from FCB studios


The HYT built house makes use of an unusual mezzanine design, which gives additional sleeping space, as well as an innovative wash area. There is also a nod towards to the 21 century with space for a solar powered phone charger!



Anja the architect for the 1V8 staff house discussing plans with HYT trainers




With the rapid growth of young professionals in Uganda, there is an urgent need for middle class housing. HYT hopes this house might serve as a prototype for a quality home that is both attractive and practical, using sustainable materials and technology. ‘HYT is delighted to be working with such a prestigious and distinguished firm of architects. We have learned a great deal along the way and hope the result is a beautiful home that will appeal to many professional Ugandan families,’ said HYT Director, Russell Matcham.








HYT’s One Village at a Time project continues to transform lives and opportunity in some of Uganda’s poorest communities, thanks here to the support of Haileybury’s Lower School. Last year the boys and girls from the Lower School raised over four thousand pounds to build a new kitchen as part of HYT’s training  programme at a primary school in rural Kamuli district. The old kitchen was little more than an unhygienic, smoky, dilapidated shack that needed lots of fire wood to make lunches for the hungry Nakibungulya children.


The new kitchen in action



Since the arrival of HYT, however and the completion of the Lower School kitchen, as part of the One Village training programme, the school has been bursting at the seams. Its greatest challenge now is accommodating the pupils now wanting to go to the school! Results have rocketed too, with more children than ever before passing the all important Primary Leavers’ Examination. Nakibungulya Primary School now has over 700 pupils, so many that some have lessons under the mango tree!

1V7 Opening-3500

The kitchen roof collects rain to feed a 10,000L water tank which can be used for cooking and washing up




The Lower School kitchen also has fuel-saving stoves, meaning there is much less firewood needed, bringing costs down while preserving the beautiful Ugandan landscape. The school cook said: ‘The new kitchen is much easier for cooking and requires far less firewood.’ She added, ‘there is also much less smoke!’



Children queue to get some maize porridge at lunchtime


Previous Lower School fund-raising projects for HYT have included teachers’ housing and rainwater storage tanks. Head of Lower School, Dr Laura Pugsley writes: ‘We are delighted to see the direct impact that the Lower School support for HYT has had – and in such a tangible way too.’


To see the Lower School kitchen in action, click here: ……

Comments are closed.