Rayah Iddi sets an example as the first woman construction project manager in Fumba.
The Moyoni homes in Fumba Town stand out for several reasons. Entirely built in pre-fab timber technology, the fifty or so low-rise apartments around a communal pool (still in the making) are designed for young families - and their construction is supervised by the first female project manager in Fumba, 30 year old Rayah Iddi. Recently, the first 16 of the 1-3 bedroom apartments with a flexible floor plan were handed over to their respective buyers. “Everybody was very happy with the outstanding quality”, says the female engineer - for a reason: Homeowners had a choice of tiles, kitchen appliances and many other details. “We are listening to our clients”, says Rayah.
Much of it seems her merit. Fully equipped kitchens by German company “Sachsenkuechen” in beige cross-laminated timber provide an airy look. Drawers and doors close automatically in gentle perfection. Low windows lend light to the ground and first floor units, designed by Dutch architect Leander Moons. “And look here”, points out Raya, taking visitors around, “we managed to carve out a TV niche hiding all unwanted cable salad.”
Bathroom tiles are extra-high; bedrooms have pre-installed, elegant black reading lights, “one thing less to worry about for clients. We wanted class and quality”, Rayah explains. No doubt, Moyoni, although among the lower-cost units in Fumba, displays a thoughtful woman’s touch thanks to her. “By beginning of next year all units will be ready”, the engineer promises.
After completing her bachelor in construction management at Dar es Salaam university, Rayah was trained and employed by Volks.house, the German led timber construction company in Fumba. She started out as a construction engineer with normal stone buildings before switching to timber and became “a total timber fan”, as she puts it. “I learnt a lot with Volkshouse” she says. Directing an all-male team of builders “is not difficult”, she claims. “On the site I don’t feel neither as a woman nor a man”, the Muslim single mum elaborates with a smile. “It’s simply a working atmosphere.”
From an early age onward her father encouraged her and three sibblings: “You can do it.” Later, it became Volks.house owner and mentor Thomas Just to support her: “Rayah, you can do it.” - “All that gave me a lot of confidence”, the young engineer, mother of 2 ½ year old Ibrahim, says and has a one word of advice for fellow women: “Don’t be scared in life.”