Having jogged your memory in the last issue about Uganda’s civil engineering history, we assume at 8M Construction Digest that our readers in the construction industry have done the needful, i.e., rebooted, about issues like the prefabricating system.

Now rebooting in today’s dot.com age language is not as plain as remembering what happened. To borrow a parallel from the medical profession, the neural centre especially the brain must ‘awake’ and begin anew. If it doesn’t, the one to whom it belongs is as good as dead and no use to him/herself or those around! And the engineering fraternity, to say the least, are the neural centre of infrastructure and development. When they reboot and begin anew, the impact is multi-dimentional!

One way of rebooting with impact is innovation. At 8M Construction Digest we have the eightfold interconnected parameter of mindset, markets, methods, management, money, materials, manpower, and machinery. Let’s suppose we are right in believing that someone has an innovative mind. Then s/he will look for materials, raw or not, and find some manpower, and use certain methods, money, and so on and so forth, and create something ‘out of nothing’ even if s/he will not be re-inventing the wheel! It is not an easy road, we know; but the journey of a thousand miles for Uganda must begin with the single step, in raw materials – the iron ore, the sand, the rocks, the soil, the plants, the water, the wind (moving air), the oil, the gas, etc.

Hence there are articles in this issue where some students have dared step out, just like Kiira Motors and some other individuals did in their own way. Kyambogo University Engineering Society students have invented a “wheelchair staircase on rack-and-pinion-mechanism” for the disabled and the elderly, besides “the multimedia filter” for rural water purification. And Konstantin Gorchakov, general manager in Uganda of MRG-Composites (which are laying claim to being an alternative to steel), explains out the third part of his article on the materials. Three electrical engineers – JE Ongodia, HE Mutikanga and D. Kalumba would be happy to see Ugandans go back to underground tunnel construction at a sophisticated and dot.com-era level. (Remember the underground tunnels at Kilembe Mines?)

You will find regular articles such as Angella Naluwenda’s cost of materials and indices in construction, Mama Fundi baring her teeth and growling over soil, and so forth.

Have a good read. Cheerio.


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