Masons get training on vital building practices


Hima cement is extending its skills development initiative to see masons and foremen equipped with vital construction skills.



Through a series of workshops dubbed the Hima Cement Builder's Academy masons are trained on issues such as concrete mixing ratios, site management, concrete mixing ratios, contracts costing and site safety.

Hima Cement is this year targeting 1000 masons in Mukono, Nansana, Ntinda, Kyengera and Entebbe.


"Structure failures are due to an extended number of reasons, however the engineers and masons get the blame because they are the ones on the site" said Philemon Mubiru, Technical Sales Manager at Hima Cement during a training session in Mukono on Sunday.

The initiative is in recognition of the challenges that the 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 (apprenticeship).


Over the years, Hima Cement has developed a broad curriculum to provide and impart knowledge on various facets of construction such as laying foundation, roofing, interpretation of plans and drawings, walling, plastering and tips on using building materials economically.


Some common practices that compromise on the quality of buildings include Use of incompetent workers also leads to failure. Most foremen in construction sites are not trained how to handle construction materials and can make mistakes when there is no adequate supervision.

And yet, most people planning to build homes depend on the masons for advice regarding their structures, which materials to use, what quantities.


Sometimes, Mr Mubiru said, the builder may be too eager to get the job they end up cutting down on the quantity of materials such as cement, iron bars which hold the building permanently.
"If builders use inferior material to cut down on the cost pressure they are compromising on the quality of the building," said Mr Mubiru.


Another factor that can compromise on the quality of building is poor site management. In many construction sites there is lack of site control and material storage and testing before they are applied.