The College of Engineering Design, Art, and Technology at Makerere University has started training builders to address gaps in the construction industry.
Dr. Amin Kiggundu Tamale, the Head of Department for Architecture and Physical planning said that the training is intended to help builders, masons understand the professional codes and regulations of construction.
Dr. Allan Birabi, a senior lecturer at the department explained that the college realized that there has been a gap between the masons and students who have to work together after the students have graduated.
Following the collapse of several buildings in Kampala with one of them being from Kisenyi, belonging to Abraham Kalanzi last year, the National Buildings Review Board-NBRB said that their investigations into collapsing buildings showed that a number of developers do not hire qualified architects or engineers.
The other reason was that builders use substandard materials that non-qualified personnel cannot recognize.
At the training, the masons under a guided discussion with professionals were taught about legal land ownership, determining what kind of construction-based on-site details, formal and informal construction methods, and material and creative building designs among other things.
Alex Mugerwa, one of the masons said that the training would enhance his work by equipping him with knowledge whereby he could not attract a certain class of clients because of poor expression.
He also noted that it was important for students to interact with them given that he has observed over time that students find difficulty when the need arises for them to do work manually at construction sites besides supervision.
Ibrahim Lyazi, a fourth-year student in the Physical Planning class explained that he has been to different construction sites which proves the need for professional training of masons who cannot interpret building plans.
Lyazi also added that the interaction under this arrangement with masons that have ground knowledge from construction sites has challenged him to translate his theory to practice.
According to Dr. Kiggundu Amin Tamale, the college intends to train one hundred thousand masons and fundis from the five Divisions of Kampala City.
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