RTZ Award for Long Term Commitment
The Winner: GIBB Africa
The civil engineering work of GIBB in Africa is mainly by African professionals, the result of a long-standing policy of training local engineers both from government departments and as employees. Paul Karekezi, managing director of GIBB Eastern Africa, is a 40 year old Kenyan who first joined GIBB while studying engineering at Nairobi University. Three quarters of key staff are African.
In 1995 GIBB Eastern Africa is training 30 government counterpart staff on a water project for 12 towns in Ethiopia. It sponsors a student at the Kenya Polytechnic and has several other university and polytechnic students on attachment. Many GIBB-trained engineers hold responsible jobs outside the company.
Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners first set up an office in Nairobi 50 years ago. It designed and supervised construction of the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi. At the other end of the scale, it is concerned with clean water for Gambian and Mozambican villages.
It has designed a new dairy for a co-operative of 10,000 Kenyan farmers, enabling them to export cheese, butter and yoghurt as well as sell them in and around Nairobi. It has helped other farmers market their produce through the improvement of 1,000 kilometres of rural roads. The improvement was done by people, rather than machines.
For 200,000 square kilometres of Mozambique, it has designed a system for lining wells and for supplying and maintaining handpumps. The handpump project involves setting up village maintenance committees, training villagers to maintain the pumps, and supplying spare parts. Some of the poorest rural communities in the world will have clean,instead of mud-clogged, water for the first time.
GIBB has a reputation for integrity which has won it a groundswell of support from client organisations throughout Eastern Africa.
GIBB Africa, PO Box 3965, Cape Town, South Africa
Fax: 00 27 21 24 5571