Jinja Materials Workshop II

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Focus Areas: Other Infrastructure

This project, which was launched on the 7th of February 2014, is a continuation of funding for a materials production workshop and construction training institute in Jinja, Uganda. It focuses on both capacity-building and income generation through the production of low-cost and ecological building materials. Funds go towards marketing and sales; hiring of a security guard and manager; construction of a shelter and curing pond; purchase of training materials; fencing of the site and construction of demonstration houses (built in partnership with local universities). Materials include soil stabilized bricks, pre-cast slabs and other low-timber materials. The project seeks to reduce the production cost per brick to improve profits. The Federation costs bricks at UGX1,000 per block. This block is 300x100x150mm and the cost per square meter (m2) is UGX25,000 compared to the UGX30,000 of the burnt clay bricks. One hundred (100) youths have been identified to take part in training. A working group has been formed to coordinate the project and the architectural designs are in the final process of approval.  Demonstration houses are complete as is the first phase of the shelter. Over two thousand (2,000) blocks have been prepared on the site and there is already interest from around Jinja in buying the bricks. To date the workshop has fulfilled a number of large orders, including supplying materials for the construction of public toilets as part of Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU), which is an initiative undertaken by the government in Phase II and Kampala Tugende in Kampala. 

Initially, some community members were resistant to the project. They thought the land was being sold to a developer. However, a joint meeting with the Municipality assured the community that they had ownership over the project. The Federation is finalizing an MOU with Jinja Council. The municipality gave 1,800m2 for the workshop. Relationships are also being explored with Makerere University’s School of the Built Environment and the local universities in Jinja. This project is one of the first attempts to create a scaled livelihood project operating as a business, providing materials as well as income (through the sale of materials) to the community. Use of low-timber methods will reduce deforestation and reduce negative impacts on climate change in the industry. There is a clear demand for such activity, with high youth unemployment and high construction activity across the country. This makes training, employment and materials production a scalable activity. When other producers and contractors learn from and adopt these methods, the low-cost and ecological production of building materials will begin to have broader impacts: benefiting the poor through provision of low-cost building materials making slum upgrading achievable.  

 

Location: Jinja, Uganda

Deliverables:

A 1,800 square meter plot has been purchased and water infrastucture has been extended to the site. The following is under way:
  • Finalisation of the MoU between the Council and the Federation
  • Identify one hundred (100) youths to take part in the training 
  • Construct the production facilities: The production building's foundation and brick pillars are in place. The curing pond has also been completed. 
  • Construct the demonstration house (in partnership with Universities)

Community capacity:

Community members shall gain access to affordable vocational training in a rapidly growing industry in Uganda, thus increasing their chances of employment. In addition to this, some community members will benefit through direct employment in the center after completing their training course. The community's capacity for self reliance will be enhanced.

Scale:

The Ugandan Alliance of National Slum Dweller’s Federation of Uganda (NSDFU) and AcTogether channelled funds into this project in 2013.  It gave further support to the Jinja Materials Workshop started in 2012, which responded to the need for certain building materials at low-cost. Currently there are no other building material workshops in Jinja that produce the required t-beams, laadis and bricks. The success of various projects in Jinja: resettlement in Kawama; Rubaga market upgrade and other slum upgrades, depends on the availability of specific building materials at a low cost. This project is part of an  initiative to engage Federation members in the area to develop businesses.

Impact:

The center will introduce the practice of low-cost, ecological building materials production in Jinja and beyond. When other producers and contractors learn from and adopt these methods, and graduates of the center’s training put what they have learnt into practice beyond the center, the low-cost and ecological production of building materials will begin to have broader impacts. The production of low-cost building materials will increase the urban poor’s access to such materials and thus increase their chances of building durable and safe shelters. Ultimately, slum upgrading will become a less costly, and thus more achievable, endeavor. The widespread use of soil stabilized bricks, pre-cast slabs and other low-timber methods will lead to a reduction of deforestation for building materials and thus reduce the industry’s negative impacts on climate change and environmental degradation.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$20,000 in total, of which US$17,813 was a capital contribution with the remainder (US$2,187) contributed towards technical assistance. 

Resources Leveraged:

The success of the workshop will be leveraged to boost the Federation's profile, not only amongst potential future members but also amongst both potential public and private partners. The center demonstrates the Federation's, in partnership with Government, ability to not only deliver on key projects but also to empower the communities in which they work through the establishment of social businesses.

State Subsidy:

A plot of land measuring 1,800 square meters (worth US$17,777.78) was leveraged from the State. This is the land upon which the workshop will be built. 

Market Generated Returns:

Materials made at the centre help generate income for the project and after selling them off; the income is used to clear costs of production and maintenance of the facility. As of early 2014, more than two thousand (2,000) blocks had been prepared on the site. There has been an expression of interest in buying the bricks from people in the area and its surrounds.

Costs recovered from community:

Saving groups in Jinja participate in the project by the fact that they are first hand beneficiaries to the training facility. Many have sent their sons and daughters to the project to get equipped with building and construction technology. Federation groups have also been involved in marketing the site to other Jinja residents and those in neighbouring towns.

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

The Jinja Training Material Centre is a national project implemented and managed jointly by the NSDFU and ACTogether Uganda. It was launched on the 7th of February 2014. The project building basic structures and facilities to train the local community in Jinja especially the youth on how to make bricks, to commercially produce them and to practically construct houses using the expertise acquired in the training. The land on which the project sits measuring 1800m2 was given by the Jinja municipality.

Deliverables:

The project sought to:

  • construct production facilities in two phases. 
  • construct a demonstration house;
  • construct a curing pond.

Community capacity:

Many exchanges took place in 2014 with the focus of the site being a learning centre on the production of affordable building and construction materials. Kampala federations were trained ahead of implementing sanitation blocks under the Kampala Tugende project.

Scale:

The project is scalable, with respect to the number of bricks that are produced on site. As more individuals are trained in the facility and demand for low-cost building materials grows, production of the building materials can be slowly increased to meet it. Operating as a social business, the center shall cover its training, production and other costs through income from student fees, accommodation rent and the sale of building materials. The manager shall be responsible for ensuring that the center does not make economic losses so that it can sustainably achieve social impact in the future.

Impact:

The project has attracted many local exchanges to the site from the Federation and from Independent firms and companies including the Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) seeking to build skills on the production of affordable building and construction material. The municipal engineer has been giving technical advice whenever called upon. The council has put up security lights near the centre. Municipal visitors have also made the site a learning site and have been taking different officials from other towns to the project to demonstrate lessons on good working relationships and meaningful partnerships between the urban poor and the council.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contibuted US$20,000 in total.

Resources Leveraged:

The relationship between the Federation and the Council has been strengthened to the extent that the municipal engineer has been giving technical advice whenever called upon. The council has put up security lights near the centre. Municipal visitors have also made the workshop a learning site and have been taking different officials from other towns to the project to demonstrate lessons on good working relationships and meaningful partnerships between the urban poor and the council.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy, which is in the form of land, has a value of US$17,777.78

Market Generated Returns:

None to date. However, the sustainability of the project will be ensured as the Institute shall set its fees well below those of other similar vocational training institutes in order to make the training accessible to low-income slum dwellers. Savings groups shall be given the chance to submit a list of people who wish to train at the centre but cannot afford to pay its fees. Students will be given the option to pay their tuition fees in labour after graduating from the course. The use of the construction materials in other Federation projects ensures financial sustainability as well as sustainability of Federation activity. Local exchanges are also to be conducted to expose Federations to useful experiences on building and construction.  

Dobson, S. (2015). "I Have an Erection....Of the Heart". [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/2015/06/i-have-an-erection-of-the-heart
 
MacPherson, A. (2013). Federation Creates Industry & Employment in Jinja, Uganda. [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/2013/12/federation-creates-industry-employment-in-jinja-uganda.
 
SDI. (2013). SDI 9th East African Hub Report 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.citiesalliance.org/ca_projects/detail/18276.
 
World Bank. (n.d.). Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda - A Secondary Cities Support Programme. [Online]. Available: http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P122475/transforming-settlements-urban-poor-uganda-secondary-cities-support-programme-tsupu?lang=en

Funding Information

Raised:

$20,000.00

Implementing Partners

AcTogether Uganda


National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU)


Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs