Development is the ultimate goal for our organization. What people may not know, is that in our construction projects and our work, we do our best to be mindful of the Earth as this is most essential to long term and sustainable development.  Explore some of our construction methods and school features that provide major developments to the schools in environmentally friendly ways.

Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks

Interlocking Soil Stabilized Blocks (ISSB) is a brick technology that has existed for hundreds of years and is just making headway in Sub-Saharan Africa. Makfundraisingerere University in Kampala along with support from organizations like Good Earth Trust are doing much to develop and promote its use. The interlocking feature to the Soil Stabilized blocks was in fact developed at Makerere!

In the summer of 2009, UNHABITAT and Good Earth Trust published a document promoting the use of these bricks. They visited many buildings using the technology, including, BULA's newly constructed St. Kizito Primary School! They deemed the structure a model for the blocks' use and then used them in the publication for succesful use of the blocks. This document is available here.


The blocks are made with a a mixture of soil, cement and water compacted with a manually operated machine. The benefits of the use of these blocks are great and include:

Environmental – breaking away from the common practice of firing bricks, the impact of deforestation and on the wetlands is greatly reduced.
Structural The compression of the bricks creates a strong and sturdy block. The uniformity and the interlocking feature of the brick provides great stability to the structure.
Educational – Introducing this technology to the community provides a new skill set while also promoting environmentally conscious practices in construction and decision making.
Aesthetic – Building with these blocks creates more visibly attractive building. Pride in one’s school has a tremendous effect on morale and motivation in the community and among students.

BenchesDuring the construction of St. Kizito, we had 2 machines on site producing up to 500 bricks a day. The soil excavated from the holes dug for the water tank and the latrines was used to make the bricks. The benefits describted above were actualized in the project as evident in the school's beauty, the skills passed on, the productive use of soil, and the firewood saved.

Learn more about the bricks and groups out there promoting their use at Good Earth Trust.

Solar Energy

Children attending primary school in Uganda often have to attend school well into the evening due to rigid examinations. During these times, children huddle around a candle or squint to read their notes as dusk falls. While the long hours come from a culmination of circumstances, the problem of lighting remains a concern.  BULA installed solar panels on the school's roof in order to light each classroom.  Solar power use will be a focus for BULA's projects as it is a way to introduce important amenities without imposing economic hardships for the school or further contributing to the pollution of the Earth.  This is sustainable both economically and environmentally.  A win-win!

Water Purification

Access to water remains a tremendous problem in Uganda. Running water is scarce and expensive and thus people must travel to get their daily supply of water. Miles are often covered to reach the nearest resource. Children and adults alike must make this trip several times a day to maintain basic needs of drinking water, cooking, and cleanliness. This is true on an individual basis and thus true at a school. No water source existed at St. Kizito prior to BULA.

BenchesTo remedy this problem at St. Kizito, BULA constructed a 30,000 gallon underground water tank that collects rainwater off the roof. this provides a direct onsite source for the school, eliminating the need to fetch water and therefore freeing time for the student's education.

In addition, to ensure a safe drinking supply, BULA purchased 4 biosand filters to be used at the school. These filters are simple and affordable. Inside the concrete filter, are layers of fine sand, coarse sand and gravel. As the water filters through, organic material is trapped on the surface of the top layer of fine sand creating a biological layer that removes pathogens and other contaminents. The filters have been successfully introduced to the children's home as well as the school and have proven to be a safe and effective technology.