For 20 years, G4S in Uganda has secured the Hima Cement (Lafarge Uganda) mines and cement plant, a vast and complex operation, spanning four sites and over 473 hectares. The contract has changed quite considerably during this time and recent insight into the impact of climate change coupled with sustainability goals has given the team on the ground pause for thought.
Head of Technology Samuel Tebandeke was keen to deliver a greener solution for the customer.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves to think of a better solution for our customer. We knew that we wanted to introduce electronic perimeter security to enhance the protection for the three mines and the cement plant we protect. Other providers were proposing laying many kilometres of cabling underground to provide power for their electronic perimeter monitoring but our team decided to investigate a greener solution.”
This greener solution took the form of solar powered laser beams, first installed in March 2021, with solar cells able to charge at the watchtowers stationed along the outskirts of the mines and plant which are then connected to each other via a laser beam.
“If someone or something breaks the connection between two cells, it automatically sends an alert to the Hima Cement control centre managed by G4S,” said Tebandeke. “We can then remotely activate CCTV on the towers and decide whether the breach is legitimate and if it requires an on the ground response.”
This solution not only is more environmentally sustainable, creates less invasion of the surrounding habitat but also was significantly more cost effective than the traditional model.
Lafarge said: “We are committed to our environmental and sustainability goals throughout the company and this solution has really caught the imagination of our teams. We are looking to see if this solution can be applied at our other plants in Zambia and other similar locations.”
The commitment to clean energy solutions does not stop there. How the security teams on the ground access the perimeter has also changed.
An electronic bike, extremely uncommon in Uganda, is now used by security guards to investigate disturbances.
“This is not only cleaner and cheaper to run, but the amount of noise they generate is dramatically lower than a traditional petrol bike,” said Henry Bbosa, Head of Manned Guarding, “So this means our teams on the ground can approach a situation more covertly.”