These two schools are located in immediate adjacency to Kidepo Valley National Park in Karamoja/North-eastern Uganda and form part of the 'Classroom Africa' programme of the African Wildlife Foundation. The aim of this programme is to provide incentives to the local population to protect wildlife and begin to experience it as an opportunity rather than a threat to their livelihoods.
Due to the remoteness of the sites and the associated high transport costs, building materials were carefully selected to be sourced locally wherever possible. The Kidepo area has beautiful local stone which was utilised for foundations and plinth walls. Compressed earth blocks, manufactured on site, form the upper part of the walls. The steel roof trusses were designed to be so light that two workers could left them in place without using machinery, and so slim that the roof structure of two entire schools fitted on a single truck. Sliding and top-hung steel louvre panels form windows and doors and provide a sturdy response to shading and security requirements.
Special care was given to the landscape design which is seen by the Client as key towards fostering a better relationship between people and nature. Existing trees and shrubs were protected to an extraordinary extent, local species added and innovative forms of appropriate agriculture introduced in the form of demonstration farms and gardens. Appropriate green technologies include rainwater harvesting, solar power, fuel-efficient wood stoves and 'aquaprivy' toilets.
This ecologically-oriented design, inspired by its spectacular location and traditional structures of the local Karamojong tribe, is highly tailored and suitable for its specific context. AWF Karamoja Primary schools embrace surrounding nature and encourage harmony between the community and wildlife around them.