May 9—Hima Cement has developed a way to keep their products more relevant to users and customers alike by setting up a Builders’ Academy Program to widen the skills set of masons, foremen and contractors. This helps keep the brand literally at peoples’ fingertips.
“We felt that instead of just giving the builders information, it would be better to also give them the opportunity to put into practice what they will have learnt during the training. This we believe, will go a long way in widening their knowledge sourcing base,” Eng. Joseph Balikuddembe, the facilitator of the training sessions said.
Based near Kasese in Western Uganda, Hima Cement Limited is a subsidiary of Bamburi Cement Group created in 1998 as part of Lafarge Group. Currently, Hima has the capacity to produce 850,000 tons of cement annually.
Through a series of workshops masons are trained in such areas as concrete mixing ratios, site management, contracts costing and site safety. Unlike previous versions, the program’s curriculum has been widened to include practical training.
In 2016, over 2,000 masons from 10 districts were trained and the target this year is to reach twice the number. The over 500 masons who participated in the most recent sessions in Lira and Arua districts, got a chance to put into practice what they had learnt, guided by technical personnel from Hima Cement.
Eng. Balikuddembe said, “As Hima Cement, everything that we do is about empowering our customers. We know that by sharing our industry knowledge with the people who actually use our products, the entire country will in the long run benefit from good infrastructure.”
The initiative is in recognition of the challenges that the construction industry has faced over time with regard to construction management and professionalism given that most masons and foremen have built their skills mostly through informal learning.