HeidelbergCement Helps African School To Rebuild
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
The HeidelbergCement Group is working hard to change lives for the better in Africa
A group of HeidelbergCement
volunteers has just got back from Tanzania after helping to rebuild two school classrooms at the Kighare Secondary School, near Usangi in the Kilimanjaro Region. The school was badly battered by heavy rains last year, and whole classrooms were swept away.
A team from the HeidelbergCement Competence Center Materials in Belgium put the finishing touches to the two new rooms earlier this autumn, using donations specially raised by the company’s Competence Centre Materials unit.
And it does not stop there: the team is going on with its fund-raising activities to ensure that the project is properly supported in the future, and that there is more money to help rebuild other new facilities at the school.
Having friends in the industry also helped get some things done for free. For instance, large chunks of the construction materials and management resources needed to get things done were supplied by another part of the group: the Tanzania Portland Cement Company.
Future plans include “new toilet blocks and two science laboratories,” project co-ordinator Tatiana de Lamalle told ABE. And Joram General Enterprises has already been lined up to construct the new buildings at a total cost of US$94,000 (or Tshs. 150,000,000/€72,500).
Everything should be completed by the end of this year.
As one of the largest cement and aggregate suppliers in the world, operating right across Europe, Asia, North America and Africa, HeidelbergCement says that it has developed “a real appreciation of the social consequences of its operations.”
Company bosses can clearly see “the benefits that improving supply and quality of construction materials can provide to the development of nations that are desperately in need of support and assistance when building up their infrastructure.”
And de Lamalle is acutely aware that rather than the “large, showcase developments such as roads, rail, and major public works, it is the smaller, human-scale opportunities to provide local facilities of direct benefit to their communities that are often overlooked.”
These small-scale projects are “desperately needed,” she says, and by helping to create “such facilities HeidelbergCement can have an immediate and lasting impact on people’s lives, providing opportunities and services that the rest of us simply take for granted.”
At the Kighare Secondary School site, HeidelbergCement has set about reconstructing a facility that “was all but destroyed by floods following heavy rain,” the company told ABE.
“As two walls collapsed, one pupil was severely injured and hospitalised and most of the classrooms were destroyed. All of the school’s supplies and equipment were lost and without classrooms, desks, books and teaching materials, things were not sustainable.
The children were forced to share a desk between four and more than 100 pupils were left unable to go on attending the school because it lacked the right facilities. There were no sanitary facilities left in place and the risk of illness and disease was significantly increased due to lack of proper toilets.”
Local parents and teachers tried to begin reconstruction, mixing mud bricks to rebuild the walls, but it was no good. They did not have enough money and they did not have the know-how or the material to make the buildings safe and suitable for the children.
Today the project has received the support and assistance of the First Lady of Tanzania Mama Salma Kikwete.
The First Lady will inaugurate the school in February 2013. If you would like to contribute to the cause, please contact Tatiana de Lamalle at firstname.lastname@example.org