In order to strengthen ongoing community service initiatives of Arba Minch University, Institute of Technology’s Department of Civil Engineering, in its daylong seminar at Main Campus has oriented over 100 unskilled laborers of Arba Minch town into construction workmanship. Scientific Director, Dr Negash Wagesho, opening the training, said, ‘‘At this juncture, when several constructions are being carried out, we observe quality taking the backseat. Therefore, such trainings are bound to change the entire perspective. And it’s high time, we must give prominence to quality first, that would benefit community and the nation in particular.’’
At the outset, participants were oriented in the theoretical aspect of construction, such as soil filling, selection, mixing and use of concrete materials and maintenance of any structure; selection of good building materials like cement, sand, aggregates and the safety norms.
They were also informed about the finer aspects like reinforcement arrangement, concrete curing, placing of concrete, form working and building maintenance in vernacular language. At Civil Laboratory techniques of compressing and flexural testing of concrete by different methods was demonstrated. On construction site they were shown how quality work is executed, training organizer, Asst. Prof. Natchimuthu Subramani said.
He further adds, this training is just the preliminary part of our larger strategy to address the issues of low quality dogging construction industry. Our brief evaluation has revealed, in the last decade, construction sector’s boom that saw inordinate rise in number of contractors and high volume of work consequently led to high rate of accidents and low quality output.
Therefore, to address this serious issue, in our maiden initiative we have exposed over 100 construction workers to the art of refinement in executing the job.
The above participants represented the construction companies operating in Arba Minch town are, Yirgalem, Etete, FE, RAMA, Flinth Stone, Emnete Endushaw, Alem Tadesse and Anjelo Arshe contractions.
The participants highly appreciative of the training have requested organizer to again host such orientation for longer duration, which will be a reality in future. IoT’s Community Service Coordinator, Mr Adane and Mr Freezer Asrat, Mr Kebede Bedada and others contributed a lot.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)