Uganda: Tororo rises from the dust as new cement factories open

09 May 2018

Two new factories will soon begin producing cement in Tororo District. District leaders and residents are optimistic that the establishment of Simba Cement and Hima Cement will spur growth and development and cause a reduction in prices of cement which recently surged.

Tororo Cement, the leading producer of cement in the country, has previously been the only cement factory in Tororo District. Simba Cement and Hima Cement have established factories in Tutir and Nyakesi villages respectively on the Tororo-Mbale highway.

Construction of the new plants started in February, 2017. The two factories are expected to create at least 2,500 jobs. Country manager of Simba Cement, Vishnu Patel, says the factory projects to start production this month and it is expected to produce 3,000 tonnes of cement annually.

“We will offer employment opportunities to over 200 people directly and more than 2000 people indirectly besides other infrastructural benefits.”

Nicholas George, the CEO of Hima Cement, says: “Once production kicks off, we will be able to employ over 250 people directly. This will enable us to double production to 1.6 million metric tonnes, annually,” he says. The new Hima Cement plant is expected to commence production next month.

Hima Cement produces 8,000 metric tonnes of cement annually. The cement companies are strategically located in Tororo for better access to limestone, which is key in cement production.

Tororo Cement has also put up another cement plant in a bid to increase its production from the current 1.8 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes annually. The LC3 chairperson of Rubongi Sub-county, Mr Solomon Oketcho, says the establishment of the factories is a “beacon of hope to the people of Tororo and neighbouring districts”.

Budama South MP, Jacob Oboth-Oboth, says the companies will build schools, health centres and water sources to improve living standards of the people.

“We expect Tororo to become a small ‘Dubai’ of East Africa and as leaders, we are prepared to mobilise our people to position themselves to harness the opportunities,’’ Oboth, says. Ms Christine Atoto, an environmental activist, cautions that investors must put in place measures to protect the environment as well as the people from emissions-related diseases.

Ms Evelyn Aol, the district National Environment Management Authority, says they have advised the investors to ensure proper waste management and pollution control.

The Minister of State for Mineral Development, Peter Lokeris, said that government has specified that over 80% per cent of their employees will be Ugandan or their operational licence would be revoked.

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