HYT Partners with Enabel – Belgian Development Agency, in Karamoja

Posted on March 27th, 2018

8 months after winning the 2017 Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, the Haileybury Youth Trust has exciting news for 2018. HYT has been selected by Enabel, Belgium’s development agency, to teach Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block (ISSB) construction across Northern Uganda, from Karamoja to Yumbe!

Enabel poster

The low-cost, environmentally friendly building technique will be taught to 150 trainees, in vocational training institutes and refugee settlements. Equipping young Ugandans and refugees with employable construction skills will transform their lives, their communities and their environment.


Nakapiripirit Youths, Karamoja

Youths from a rich variety of cultures will gain employable skills together here in Nakapiripirit.


The first project takes place in Nakapiripirit, a town of three streets or so, nestled high in the Eastern Rift Mountains. HYT will be working with the students of Nakapiripirit Technical Institute, to construct a round staff house using curved earth blocks.


Nakapiripirit High Street, Karamoja

As the town of Nakapiripirit expands, it must do so in harmony with its stunning natural environment.


The project will make use of building techniques familiar to the Karamoja Region, including thatched grass roofing. The team travelled to the town of Nabilatuk to discover more about local approaches to this practice.


Roofing in Nakapiripirit

HYT Intern Angelica (H 12) was one of the first onto the roof, and one of the fastest learners!


Two hours out of Nakapiripirit, the ‘chief town’ of the district, HYT’s field team was invited to enter a manyatta (compound), where a new hut was under construction. Here they learned how to thatch directly from local women, with varying success.


Thatching in Nakapiripirit

Assistant Country Manager Charlie Tebbutt (K 08) took a little longer to grasp the thatching techniques.


Particularly enlightening was the explanation that all construction materials are sourced from the surrounding savannah. This sustainable approach to building is something that HYT and the Karamojong have in common, promising a successful collaboration.


HYT & Enabel in Nakapiripirit, Karamoja

The Enabel and HYT teams met at Nakapiripirit Technical Institute to plan the project’s progress.


After meeting with the Enabel team and setting out the project aims and location, it was time to head home. The journey from Jinja to Karamoja and back is a long one, and full of surprises…


Ostrich in Karamoja

A drive through Karamoja reveals the close and complex relationships between society and the natural environment.


But HYT is used to that. Its own journey has taken it from the streets of Stepney to the banks of the Nile, and now to the mountains of Karamoja. The project, which begins next week, marks an important step on the road to sustainable development here in Uganda.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at hytuganda.com





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