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Soldiers Learn Railway Sleeper Making to Support Standard Gauge Railway Construction

The rails are made out of metals, iron bars and concrete. According to Asiimwe the government needs 110 dollars to buy one bar from abroad but a locally manufactured rail can cost 47 dollars. Each kilometer of a railroad takes about 1660 sleepers.
UMEC administrators with the UBTEB Executive Secretary Onesmus Oyesige

Audio 2



The government through Uganda Military Engineering Collage-UMEC has introduced a course unit of skilling and training soldiers to make railway sleepers to support the construction of standard-gauge railway. 

  The unit is taught as part of the Civil and Electrical engineering courses at UMEC located at Lugazi Municipality in Buikwe district to both soldiers and civilian students. 

  The training is intended to increase on the massive local production of sleepers used to build rails for train to run on.

      Brigadier General Denis Asiimwe the Commandant, UMEC, says the idea was hatched in 2014 to increase the local production of sleepers to be used in the construction of the standard gauge railway. He says the unit has now been also introduced at Tororo Railway and Construction Collage. 

The rails are made out of metals, iron bars and concrete. According to Asiimwe the government needs 110 dollars to buy one bar from abroad but a locally manufactured one costs about 47 dollars. Each kilometer of a railroad takes about 1660 sleepers. 

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Asiimwe says most the students from the collage are integrated into the National Enterprise Corporation-NEC, the state-owned commercial arm of the Uganda People's Defence Force which is responsible for a mass production of sleepers.

   Since the collage was initiated in 2010, it has produced 330 engineers and currently 382 students undertaking their final Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board exams. 160 of them are UPDF soldiers and 270 students are civilians perusing diplomas.

Ronald Kaheru, one of the finalist says apart from sleeper making, they have also learnt how to make brick laying machines, grass and rice threshers, portable water drilling machines and grain mills. URN has observed some of the manufactured machines on display. 

Onesmus Oyesigire the UBTEB Executive Secretary says UMEC collage is among the 170 centers that were cleared to offer examinations across the country.

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The May/June UBTEB examinations which started on Monday this week across the country were differed following the outbreak of Covid-19.

They are currently being done under strict observance of Covid-19 guidelines. At UMEC all students are seated in a distance of 1.5 meters putting on face masks and others shields as UPDF officers and UBTEB supervisors are ensures constant sanitization.