When the guns went silent in 2006 the Ugandan government found itself with yet another challenge, this time returning and resettling the internally displaced people to their original homes.
For many of the affected people, this would mean returning to their homes after a 20-year absence. However, during the decades-long conflict, all forms of infrastructure to support human habitation had been destroyed and the environment had been greatly degraded.
Government soon realised that this task could not be handled without assistance and created a framework to bring together different stakeholders in order to find a way forward. The post-conflict plan was dubbed the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) and was created to support the following key areas:
- strengthening the state
- rebuilding and empowering communities
- revitalising the economy
- peace-building and reconciliation.
The plan also included elimination of terrorist threat to stability, building of security and access roads, water, revival and re-enhancement of education, emergency relief, health and immunisation, farming for food security and income generation as well as the re-education and orientation of the minds and hearts of the population towards peace and development rather than war.
As a part of this strategy, Hydraform offered an innovative opportunity to address many of the points in the president’s plan. Machines could be brought in to develop much needed infrastructure in the way of:
- Houses that were secure and solid. Hydraform blockshave been ballistic tested and can withstand bullet shots, thereby improving security concerns.
- Schools could be built for education.
- Clinics and hospitals could be built for addressing the HIV/Aids concerns in the region and introducing health and immunisation facilities.
- Training centres for the development of skills and training.
The Hydraform machines would also create the opportunity to empower the people of the region. Local community members were trained to use the machines, produce blocks and build. The community acquired the skills required which led to employment opportunities and
the development of much-needed skills. There was no need for arms, but there was a need for building.