By Kampala Post Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has called on soldiers to embark on the making of bricks as part of the measures to reduce costs of erecting buildings in barracks.
The President made the call today at the Special Forces Command (SFC) Entebbe Military barracks in Entebbe Municipality where he commissioned the new Dr. Ronald Bata Hospital. The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Construction Brigade erected the Shs. 293 million structure to provide health services to soldiers, their families and the neighboring communities.
“Soldiers should be guided into making bricks/blocks. This method would facilitate us in building hospitals, schools and other infrastructure in the barracks at low cost and we would build more facilities. The Government would only have the task of providing building materials such as cement, iron bars and iron sheets,” he said.
President Museveni noted that the construction of the new hospital would save Government funds that would be spent on treatment outside the barracks. He thanked the UPDDF for building the new facility.
President Museveni said all the old houses in the barracks should be broken down and have new ones erected using the UPDF labour. He congratulated the SFC Commander, Col. Don Nabaasa for his role in setting up the new hospital. He pledged to contribute brick-making machines to further reduce expenses. He said that he would return to facilitate the construction of new structures.
He said that one must look for the cheap way to defend his home or country. He said that during the days of the liberation struggle, what mattered most was to identify the enemy, have guns and bullets adding that they got the rest of their requirements from the enemy.
President Museveni observed that the soldiers had few challenges such as clothes, food, guns and bullets while in the bush. He, however, observed that the situation today is different because they need education for their children and accommodation. He revealed that the Government has built primary schools in all the barracks and 4 Secondary Schools in Jinja, Nakasongola, Masindi and Mbarara. He said that he has discouraged the practice of erecting buildings using contractors.
President Museveni was pleased to note that the UPDF Women’s Savings Credit and Cooperative Organization (SACCO) has grown and pledged to inject another Shs. 50 million to facilitate the SACCO that belongs to wives of soldiers. He urged them not only to concentrate in tailoring and charcoal briquettes activities but to venture into the weaving of sweaters and knitting. He also pledged to provide them instructors in knitting skills and weaving. He revealed that he wants Nsamizi hill (Entebbe barracks) to be transformed into a place of production.
State Minister for Veteran Affairs, Maj. Bright Rwamirama revealed that 75% of the patients in the new hospital were civilians adding that there is need for the facilities to be provided more resources.
The Chief of the Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi commended SFC for doing something tangible from the resources that Government provides them. He requested the Chief of Medical Services to provide equipment to the hospital.
Col. Don Nabaasa, SFC Commander, revealed that it took only four and a half months for the UPDF to build the hospital block. He said that they provide free medical services to wananchi as part of the good relations between the Army and wananchi. He disclosed that plans are underway to establish a caring centre for people that get accidents.