As you move around Uganda you see large brick stacks everywhere either under construction, covered with clay, smoking as they are fired or being dismantled for use.

The clay is dug, shaped and left out to dry for about three days and then stacked .The stack is covered with mud and then fired for approximately 2 days. The clay is usually dug on the plot where the bricks are to be used but you also see stacks by the side of the main roads to be taken and used elsewhere.  It’s a very sustainable way of making bricks as the misshapen and under fired bricks are used as fill or just slowly disintegrate back into the ground. The only non-sustainable bit is the large logs of hardwood used for the firing.

Bricks in Amolater                                                                     Digging, drying and stacking the bricks on the plot

Burning the bricks

Once the walls are built, effectively for free if its on your plot and you make the bricks, you have to get money to buy materials for the roof windows flooring and plastering. This is where   many of the building projects appear to falter both domestically and in the colleges we have visited.  A roof and a metal door to make the building secure are in many cases enough and the building is used for many years in this condition


On hold

In all the colleges we have visited many of the buildings are constructed by the students ,bricklaying and concrete practice (BCP) doing the walls, welding or carpentry and joinery (C and J) doing the roof trusses and doors and painting and decorating ( P and D) students doing the internal and external walls and glazing . Classrooms are all to a standard design and dimensions as specified by the Ministry of Education and Sport.

A classroom block                                                                      A new classroom block -already being used

Bamboo walls

Bamboo is also a favoured building material for small shops and outside sheds and privies. It can be put up quickly. There is even a 2 storey bar made out of bamboo that has been there for a number of years.

A two storey wood and bamboo bar                                                                     Corregated Iron