Tororo phosphate project offers job opening for the locals.
As early as 9:00am on Wednesday morning, several people were lining up outside the main entrance to Guangzhou Dongsong Energy group industrial park at Osokulu in Tororo district.
They had responded to announcements aired on local radios calling on jobseekers to apply for the different job openings at the multi-million dollar facility.
As it prepares to begin production, the Chinese firm, in accordance with its agreement with the Ugandan government embarked on a drive to recruit locals to fill up vacancies that don’t require any technical expertise.
“Our agreement with the government requires us to employ people from Tororo, we only look elsewhere if the people here don’t meet our requirements,” said Guo Yaqiong, the head of Guongzhou Dongsong Energy group (U) Ltd.
The Chinese firm is investing over $620m (Shs 2.2trillion) in the project which after taking off, will transform the lives of many in Tororo.
The project was launched three years ago in August 2014 by President Museveni as part of the government’s response to the high unemployment rates in the country.
Over 900 people applied for the 92 job slots that were advertised, and more applications are expected to come at each of firm’s recruitment centres at Osokulu, Ilyowa and Mella tecnhical school since the application window closes on March 28. The on going process is for recruitment of drivers, watchmen, store keepers, welders and supervisors among others.
According to Yaqiong, the firm intends to employ about 1500 Ugandans. The firm was allocated more than 600 acres of land on which fertilisers, steel, glass, baking free bricks and cement plants are going to be constructed. “We are going to be producing a by-product that we will be supplying to Hima Cement to produce refined cement for the market,” a company official said.
In January 2017, Hima Cement commissioned a new factory in Tororo, a year after it signed an agreement with Guangzhou Dongsong Energy group (U) Ltd. This was for the Chinese firm to supply Hima Cement with the raw material.
Guangzhou Dongsong Energy group (U) Ltd was awarded a 21-year mining license in Tororo, Masaka, Kabale and Moroto districts.
Besides the phosphate that it is going to be mined in Tororo for the making of fertilisers, the firm will also mine magnetite, a mineral used in the making of steel.
In Moroto, the Chinese firm was licensed to mine dolomite used in the making of glass while in Kabale, it will mine iron ore – hematite, said to be the most pure iron ore used in making of steel.
In Masaka, the firm will mine sand which is a key ingredient in the making of ceramics.
“Uganda is our first oversees investment and we hope that by October, construction of the dressing plant which is used for separation of minerals from the soil, will be complete,” Yaqiong said.
Besides the mining, the Chinese firm has also taken up social projects like renovation of community schools as part of its corporate social responsibility.