Mpirigiti Rural Training Center
In 2016, the center broke ground on its most comprehensive construction project to date: a residential training center located in Kamuli District in Eastern Uganda. The multi-purpose facility opened in 2018 and serves as a:
- Residential facility for Iowa State and Makerere University students and faculty
- Community training and demonstration center
- Conference and meeting venue.
The training center’s facilities can accommodate groups of 80 people for training events. The residential capacity of the center is 60 people. Facilities include a dormitory, guest house, lounge, kitchen, laundry, multipurpose training/dining room, office space, conference room, library, training pavilion, storage building, demonstration areas (livestock, horticulture and forestry), a grain quality lab, and outdoor recreation facilities (soccer, basketball and volleyball) that are open to the community.
The center would not have been possible without the generous support of several lead donors. In addition, many service-learning alumni and others contributed through a successful crowdfunding campaign with assistance from the Iowa State University Foundation.
Architectural design and engineering services were provided by Studio FH based in Kampala, Uganda. The general contractor was Soleco Construction Company, Limited, based in Kampala, Uganda. Compressed earth block fabrication and construction was managed by HYT, Uganda, based in Jinja, Uganda. Interior design services were provided by Irene Nyangoma, based in Kampala, Uganda.
Original artwork commissioned for the center includes work by Ronex Ahimbisibwe, Samson Rubaihayo, Sylvia Nasonko. Special thanks to Taga Nuwagaba for introducing us to these very talented Ugandan artists.
To reduce our carbon foot print the design of the Mpirigiti Rural Training Center includes a number of environmentally sustainable features including:
- Conserving Water
- Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater is collected on all major roof surfaces and flows by gravity to our 40,000 liter tank farm for use as drinking water (after being processed by our water purification system) as well as for bathing.
- A deep well drilled on the property provides a back-up source of water.
- Waste water recycling: The center processes waste water through an anaerobic bio-digester and through the use of twin constructed wetlands, using natural processes for cleaning up waste water before returning it to the environment for re-use.
- Saving Electricity
- Solar water heaters: Water is heated by the sun for use at all residential buildings using roof mounted solar water heaters.
- Photovoltaic panels: Photovoltaic panels collect energy from the sun and convert it to electricity, supported by a rack of batteries for storing power. The electricity generated powers all security lights and most office equipment.
- Ventilation: Natural passive ventilation, ceiling fans and shade trees are used to keep rooms comfortable, avoiding the need for any energy consuming air conditioning.
- Buying Local
- Use of local building materials: Using local materials supports the Ugandan economy while reducing transport costs. Example: 30,000 compressed earth blocks were made using innovative, muscle powered technology and soil from our property (saving approximately 42 tons of firewood since these blocks were not fired).
- Use of local technical expertise and labor: Use of local architects, engineers, and contractors insured that professionals familiar with Ugandan conditions were in charge of the project. Use of these experts as well as the use of local labor supports the Ugandan economy.
- Furniture and furnishings: The majority of the furniture and furnishings were sourced locally which supports the Ugandan economy and reduces transport costs.
- Fresh produce: Gardens and orchards on the property will supply fresh produce without any transport costs.
Please contact us if you are interested in visiting the training center for a tour or to discuss the use of the facilities for your group activity.
P.O. Box 218
Bugabula Block 10
GPS Coordinates: N0 56.004 E33 07.144
Contact to arrange visits:
- Dr. Gideon Nadiope, National Director
- Iowa State University – Uganda Program
- Phone: +256 701 47 22 33
Inquiries about using the facilities: