Water Charity Supports HYT Training in Mabira

Posted on February 14th, 2018

Mabira Forest has been making headlines this week in Uganda, as logging continues to eat away at the reserve’s natural riches. With much of Uganda’s population still reliant on firewood for cooking, building and employment, there is a clear need to decouple development from deforestation.


Mabira Firewood

Truckloads of timber are a regular sight here in Najjembe, Mabira.


Industrial agriculture has also polluted the forest’s waterways, affecting the wildlife and communities that depend on them. HYT has partnered with Water Charity to increase the self-reliance of local people, providing them with sustainable alternatives to woodcutting, and access to life-giving water.


Children of the Mabira Communit

Najjembe’s men, women and children make a living as blue-aproned street vendors, who rely on water and firewood to grow and cook the food they sell.


The project, which builds on HYT’s previous efforts with Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organisation (MAFICO), centres around 6 schools. Here at Muteesa Secondary, young Ugandans from the local community are learning to build water tanks out of the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB). The beauty of this technology is its simplicity; the manual press, soil, sand and a dash of cement are all you need to make durable, uniform bricks.


Muteesa Water Tank Team, Mabira

The six new trainees will use their initial stipends to pay for safety wear, which they keep and take on to future jobs.


HYT has selected 6 trainees, most of whom did not finish school due to financial / family constraints, to join the programme. They have already learned how to select and excavate the right kind of soil, and will soon start turning it into usable blocks, without burning firewood!


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira

The original Mabira tank team has already completed 3 of its 6 scheduled tanks!


It won’t take them long to catch up with Mabira’s first team of trainees, who have been learning to build since October. They can now construct a water tank in less than a month, with each structure consolidating their practical and theoretical skills.


Najjembe Water Tank Building Team

These masons have produced 600 blocks here at Najjembe Primary.


By funding the HYT training project here in Mabira, Water Charity is committing to more than just the provision of clean water. Alongside vocational skills, trainees are taught the importance of conserving their natural surroundings, securing futures for themselves and the environment.


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira Forest

The trainees take a break to admire the forest they are protecting.


Together, the two organisations are creating a generation of employable, environmentally-aware young Ugandans, here in the heart of Mabira Forest.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

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