Friday, 21 February 2014

A Quick Q&A With Kasese Humanist School Director Bwambale Robert

Construction work at the new site of the Kasese Humanist Primary School.

Awhile back, Kasese Humanist Primary School supporter, Meredith Doig emailed some questions she had about the ongoing construction project to School Director Bwambale Robert. I thought others may be interested to know the answers to these questions too. So with Meredith's permission, I'm reprinting it here somewhat edited for grammar, spelling, flow, redundancy, etc.

Before we get to the Q&A, I'd like to remind you how you can support this project:

Now on to the Q&A.

Who are your workers?
My workers are young boys plus a few matures who are categorized into two classes: the trained masons and the porters. The masons are trained to build structures and are skilled in that profession to lay bricks, plaster the walls and flooring work. The Porters are the unskilled guys who do manual work and most of these are young boys, some kids from the school who are currently in their holidays,  a few school staff members and some members of Kasese United Humanist Association.

If it's not too insensitive a topic, would you mind sharing with us approximately how much they are paid?
An experienced builder is paid at the end of each work day and is paid 22,000 Shillings equivalent to $9 while porters are paid $4.

What is 'murram'? 
This is brick reddish soil that has a high capacity of joining bricks together. It serves the same role as cement but its price is relatively lower and is good for those who want to build on a budget. Most houses in Kasese are constructed using this material but when used, they recommend a coat of plaster to make the building stronger and smarter.

Could you please tell us the rationale for including a nursery?
This is the foundation of Uganda’s education system and KHPS has an interest in having school going children to begin their long journey of education at the school. As far as the Uganda Education set up, the nursery institution is an independent entity from the Primary School and each of the two is autonomous but generally this is not the case as most schools normally mix them as a same entity and its generally accepted here.

I noticed when I was in Uganda that new buildings tended to use corrugated iron roofing instead of the traditional thatching. But it seemed to me thatching would be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. What is the reason for using iron as roofing material?
The corrugated sheets are strong, durable and reliable whereas the thatched houses are not durable, can be torched by unknown wrong elements in society and the structure just burns to ashes in no time. Also, where we live our people still have a habit of petty thefts and dismantling the grasses is very easy compared to the corrugated sheets. 

Also, some areas don’t have these grasses.

Have you had any reaction from the surrounding community about the building of the new school?
The reactions have been positive and people are ready to try us and see whether we shall teach their children. The fact that we have been in existence for now 4 years adds value for them to trust us as far as educating their children. They also expect to benefit from other services like computer and vocational skills of their children.

As you can see, there is very little overhead going on here. Money is going more or less directly to the project at hand. Please consider donating:

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