- In 2008, BULA reconstructed St. Kizito Primary School in Uganda. From the time the school was leveled on January 14th to the time the children entered their classrooms on June 16th, we were able to achieve all that we set out to do. This was meant to be a community project in Uganda as much as it was in the United States. Nearly all supplies and labor came from the people and shops within the village creating income-generating opportunities for the people in the village.
COMPONENTS OF THE NEW SCHOOL:
- – 8 classrooms – Nursery to Primary 7
- – Two teacher offices and a staff room to store materials and create lesson plans
- – A 30,000 gallon underground water tank
- – Solar powered lighting
- – Windows and doors in each room providing security and ventilation
- – Toilet Facilities
- – Quality roofing – protecting the children from the elements and serving as noise control
- – Finished floors, Desks, Chalk Boards
- – Cheerful, brightly painted, rooms
The Project was run by a collection of International volunteers. Upon Melissa’s arrival back to Uganda in December 2007, she met 4 other volunteers working at the school: Andrea Procopio (Camp Hill, PA), Walker Williams (Richmond, VA), David Burton and Heather Kitchen (Edmonton, CANADA). These four volunteers immediately supported the construction and took on major management roles during the project’s implementation.
Tom Harrison (London, England) managed the build. He developed the existing plans based off those drawn up before Melissa left a year earlier. These improved plans were designed to meet the new needs and to communicate BULA’s vision of the school to the workers and the community. He introduced the idea of a foundation pad to the project and sorted out the many complicated aspects of the construction. Tom came to Uganda in two three-week trips during the crucial stages of the project and then managed from France with daily phone calls and emails.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CONSTRUCTION:
BULA is proud to say that its construction projects strive not only to provide a sustainable project, but also focus on sustainable technologies.
One of these technologies is the use of Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSB) Technology to build the walls of the school.This technology is an innovative method currently being promoted by Good Earth Trust as an alternative to the traditional brick firing process. The bricks were made with a mixture of soil, cement and water compressed with the ISSB hand press machine. During construction, there were 2 machines on site using the soil excavated while digging the underground water tank and latrines.
This brick making system is endorsed because of the bricks environmental appeal and structural stability. Firing bricks requires large amounts of firewood, which has greatly added to deforestation in the country. The bricks, with the interlocking feature developed by Makerere, require very little mortar decreasing the need for cement.
More information about the bricks can be found at: http://www.goodearthtrust.org.uk/
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR ST. KIZITO PRIMARY SCHOOL, 2009
– A kitchen was completed at the school in March 2009. It was built with a storage room, shelving, large appropriate built in stoves, large windows and good ventilation. The school hired cooks and discussed with the families the best way to incorporate an affordable food program into the school. The community and the school shared BULA’s same beliefs that this addition would go a long way in improving the overall health and academic performance of the students at St. Kizito.
– In the rear corner of the school, closest to the latrines, now sits a 5000 L water tank, collecting much of the water unable to reach the underground water tank. The tank also serves as an accessible water point for hand washing given its proximity to the latrines. This will help to encourage sanitation and help decrease the spread of sickness among the children.
–Three sand water filters built by Makerere University have been installed at the school. These water filters will promote the use of a clean water source, greatly improving the overall health and well being of the children.
–Shutters were installed in the teachers’ offices so that on windy and rainy days, they needn’t fear disruption of their work. This was a much needed and appreciated improvement.
-BULA has shipped, courtesy of British Airways, 290 boxes of textbooks and teaching supplies from all over the US. The books were organized and shelved by Andie, the teachers and young Ugandan graduates. A once material-less school is now stocked with more books than one could imagine!