From 7 to 22 January, more than 140 residents, mostly youth from the Khor Abeche Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in south Darfur, participated in a UNAMID supported training project on the molding of bricks using sand and cement.
This capacity building project, implemented by UNAMID Tanzanian (TANZBATT) peacekeepers based in Khor Abeche, was aimed at imparting masonry skills to the youth in the area who have pledged to build more durable housing for the more than 6700 Khor Abeche IDPs Camp dwellers who currently reside in temporary grass huts that fall short of providing reasonable shelter for local communities, especially during the rain and cold seasons.
The project is part of TANZBATT initiatives meant to support local communities to upgrade to a more conducive lifestyle, higher house building skills and to develop additional income-generating options that will make them more independent and become a self-sustained society. The cement brickmaking training was conducted in two phases where the first 1000 bricks were used to construct an Islamic learning school and an additional 3000 bricks sold to the residents to raise capital for similar future projects.
In his remarks during the handover of bricks material to the local community, Tanzania Battalion Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Kayage assured the host community of TANZABATT’s continued support in skills training and provision of material resources, based on available resources.
“We urge the cement brick making trainees and the local community in general, to fully utilize locally available raw materials in the production of the bricks. There is enough sand here in Khor Abeche as well as water. We are providing you with bags of cement as part of the startup phase of this project, which if managed well, will improve your living conditions and prepare a better future for your children”, said Kayage.
In response, the Umda (local community leader), Hussein Abubakar, remarked that through this project they expect to construct better houses with better living conditions and for their children to be self-employed instead of them roaming around the streets engaging in less fruitful endeavors.