Jinja Materials Training Center

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Focus Areas: Livelihoods

The Jinja Material Training Center is a social enterprise and a resource center for Incremental Upgrading in Jinja. The project was established by National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU), ACTogether and SDI. It is comprised of a materials workshop used for the production of innovative low cost building materials and training, a community hall for the Walukuba Community, a hostel for trainees and Federation visitors, and a selection of demonstration projects such as sanitation units and a demo house. The three-story hostel and community hall were constructed entirely from products produced on site. 

Location: Jinja, Uganda

Deliverables:

The project has achieved its deliverables as planned. Youth have been trained in making low cost building materials and the center is making profits from the sale of materials to the local community and municipality. The Federation is managing the project with the support of one full time and two part time professionals. Construction of the community hall and hostel is on schedule and will be completed by the end of August 2015. 

Community capacity:

Local community youth have been trained as planned and many of them testify to acquiring marketable knowledge and skill. Through exchanges Federation members from other municipalities in Uganda have been trained – most notably the sanitation teams from Kampala. Many of the youth trained have since been employed casually at the center. Local Federation members are managing the project and constantly innovating to bring new elements to the Jinja project.

Scale:

The project has not yet been replicated, but exploration is underway in Mbale, Arua and Kampala. In addition, other Federations in Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana are exploring the potential for similar projects in their countries. A large scale Federation sanitation initiative in Kampala presently sources its materials from Jinja and the Federation would like to reduce transport costs by establishing a project in the capital, Kampala. 

Impact:

The intended impact has been achieved. Training and production are progressing well and the business model appears to be robust. The local council has not only approved the materials, but is actively promoting their use in upgrading projects to save costs and support the local economy. Once the hall and hostel are completed the full impact is expected to be realized.

Additional impact has resulted from the project being selected to host SDI’s first solar project in East Africa using an innovative community hub model to reduce costs for the poor. 

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$112,365.

Resources Leveraged:

Land to the value of US$17,777.78

State Subsidy:

Land to the value of US$17,777.78.

Market Generated Returns:

Revenue is generated through the sale of building material fees, training fees. SSA paid twelve million (12,000,000) Ugandan shillings to have its members trained at the center.

Metal fabrication fee: 1,680,000 Ugandan shillings

Costs recovered from community:

None to date.

Skye Dobson skye@sdinet.org (+256) 312 107 643 View Website
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Project information updated: 26 October 2015

Project in depth

Detailed Information

Incremental, in situ upgrading is a necessity for achieving inclusive and scalable settlement upgrading. The poorest simply do not have access to the capital required for purchasing houses on the open market. Instead, they mostly rely on making incremental improvements to their shelter. This project supports local communities access low cost materials and small loans from the urban poor fund to make these upgrades in an incremental manner, both to their homes and public facilities. In addition to this, the site provides valuable skills training and employment for local youth for whom unemployment is a primary concern. The site has been commissioned to produce materials for Community Upgrading Fund (CUF) projects from sanitation units, to health centers and school buildings to improve the lives of people in the Municipality's settlements. The site has trained local women and youth both inside and outside of the Federation.
 

Deliverables:

In 2013, NSDFU and ACTogether began work on Jinja Materials Workshop (JMW) with three goals:

Income generation: JMW was designed to operate as a social enterprise to create a sustainable project that doesn’t depend on donor funding. Once the project pays off its loan (approximately 4 years), profits from the project can be invested in new Federation projects). 

Training:JMW planned to train many students in the methods of producing building materials as well as in methods of construction. This training would provide vocational skills on new technologies in a field with increasing demand.

New Technologies:JMW hoped to bring new technologies to Uganda for use in construction. The initial technologies include Stabilized Soil Bricks (SSB), premade concrete products and worm digesters — for use in sanitation projects. Continued development of new technologies would increase quality and decrease costs associated with construction. 

The building footprint was planned to be approximately one thousand eight hundred square meters (1,800m2) in size, was provided by Jinja Municipal Council. The center also planned to have a community hall for community meetings and training as well as basic (hostel) accommodation.

This project aims to be completely commercially sustainable with a long-term plan of becoming less reliant on donor grants. Instead of the Federation owning and managing it, a professional building materials specialist is employed to manage the workshop and conduct the training, so it follows strict business standards. Through the project the Federation develop skills and experience of the local community. Employment opportunities are provided to Federation members, allowing them to earn an income. It is planned that capital investment will be repaid within five (5) years. When money is repaid, funds can be used to start other material workshops. Operating costs of the project are absorbed by the commercial side of the business, significantly reducing the cost of Federation projects in Jinja. Two new savings schemes have been introduced during the course of the project, strengthening overall savings in the area.

Community capacity:

For Jinja Materials Training Center (JMTC) the plan was to have the local community – the youth in particular – trained in making low cost building material. The community was to contribute unskilled casual labour on top of monitoring and managing the center together with the Council.

Scale:

Scalability for the project would be realized by effective project management and a robust business model. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the capacity of organized urban poor communities to manage large scale projects that serve a social need, but is not solely dependent on donor funding. This model is proving successful and the Municipalities of Arua and Mbale are already exploring the potential for replication.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$20,586.

Resources Leveraged:

Land to the value of US$17,777.78.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land to the value of US$17,777.78.

Market Generated Returns:

Revenue is generated through the sale of building material fees, community hall rental  fees, hostel fees, and training fees.

Costs recovered from community:

Repayments from user fees over five (5) years at twelve percent (12%) per annum.

ACTogether Uganda. (2013). A Learning-by-Doing Approach to Active Urban Citizenship in Uganda: The Toolkit. [Online]. Available: http://www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/ACTogether-Toolkit-LEARNING-BY-DOING_0.pdf.
 
Cities Alliance. (2010). Uganda Initiative Emphasises Inclusive Urbanisation, Community Participation. [Online]. Available: http://www.citiesalliance.org/uganda-community-participation
 
MacPherson, A.K. (2013). Federation Creates Industry and Employment in Jinja, Uganda. [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/2013/12/federation-creates-industry-employment-in-jinja-uganda.

Funding Information

Raised:

$20,586.00

Implementing Partners

AcTogether Uganda


National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU)