Indigenous food day celebrations held at Hotel Africa to promote consumption of local and indigenous foods courtesy of FRA VEDCO Bioversity International,Slow Foods and SD4 ALL Partners.
In the thematic area of climate change and natural resource management by Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns(VEDCO). There are some key findings found at Banda zone 3, which portray climate change has worsened. This is vividly seen on swamp reclamation and diversion of River “Kawooya” that has impeccably led to floods in this area.
Banda is a hill that lies in Nakawa Division, within Kampala, the capital of Uganda, the third-largest economy in the East African Community. Banda also refers to the neighborhoods on the slopes of the hill and between Banda Hill and Kireka, extending all the way to the Kampala-Jinja. Banda zone 3 is another black sheep in the big city Kampala; the folks often refer to this place as “Kasenyi” because they leave in the swampy and sandy zone. Most astonishingly in Kasenyi there lies a big snaking river called “Kawooya”the locals refer to this as a killer because during the rainy season it brims to the dug trench as it spreads wildly to the houses the folks leave in, they drown in these trenches and some lose their lives. Kawooya to the locals serves many purposes to them; this is a dumping area for feces during the rainy seasons. This is a wild bush fire as it increases diseases like Cholera amongst the folks in these areas. Kawooya also is another inhabitant for mosquitoes as many of the locals suffer gravely from malaria. Relatively, when it rains so heavily there seems an enormous flooding in Kasenyi, as the dirty waters sprawl into the road, clocking and destroying properties. The locals assert this catastrophe is due to blocking of the river that becomes wild during the rainy season. Superstitiously, they claim Kawooya is angry causes the flooding and he retaliates through destruction of property and occasionally kills.
This area is blessed with four wellsprings (ensulo), these act as drinking places for many of them that cannot afford the piped water by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC). The NWSC is a little expensive for many of the locals; this implies that many cannot afford 200 shillings to access this tap water, furthermore, a few of them are able to boil the water they drink. Many resort to the un- boiled water. This has increased typhoid in the area. With their low standards of living, they only have clinics (two clinics working to over 10,000 people in the area) they are privately owned shockingly, with few tablets like Panadol. The setting seems short of medicine and the folks cannot afford the lavish lifestyle of hospitals. Consequently, many of folks that do not have pit latrines pay for the public pit latrines at cost that is relatively higher to their income earnings. This has resulted into “flying toilets” loosely meaning (disposal of feces into polythene bags, and throwing them over into the river and to their neighbors’ rooftops) this often done at night and in the wee hours of the morning, this has increased poor sanitation and hygiene in the area. This resulting into communicable diseases like Cholera.
The housing facilities is another great shocker in Kasenyi, the houses are packed onto one another with poor waste disposal. On average, every house has about two rooms, with over five children leaving with both their parents in these shacks. They are packed like rice body to body with insecurity since this looks like a fathom of theft breeding, as the children lay down the book and pen dwelling on pick pocketing like artful dodgers. However, this seems not to be the problem. The problem seems to root down in the settings and low standard of livings.
The area is ironically “blessed” with hips and hills of rubbish as locals poorly dispose the wastes. The mountainous rubbish is the fountain of all sorts of poor sanitation as the “Kaveera” is dumped all over degrading the lands that can crop food. However, the congestion in this area deems to support any kind of agriculture since no room to practice it. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) was originally taking rubbish to ease the burden off the locals. However, this kind of service stopped. This has indeed peaked the poor wastes disposal in Kasenyi.
However, there has been some reigning hope for the betterment of people. Different Non-GovernmentOrganizations (NGOs) have tried to improve the lives of many locals in Kasenyi. Firstly, the Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) has carried out different sensitization to the youths about poverty eradication in their area zone; this is through making of small projects to increase on their incomes. This has proven a safe haven and a reduction to theft cases. Consequently, Community Integrated Development Initiatives(CIDI), have helped in sensitizing the public about proper sanitation and primary health care and hygiene. Similarly, Act Together has improved on their access to safe drinking water in the area and provision of two security lights; this has reduced on rape cases of women in Kasenyi (Banda zone 3). However, the governmentin partnership with the local leaders it has dug and built the trench to reduce on the cases of the flooding of Kawooya during the rainy season. The NWSC has extended piped water in the area; this has reduced on the water crisis in the area improving accessibility to water in the area. This has greatly reduced on water related diseases due to poor sanitation (open defecation in wells and river).
But, this is not enough the area network needs more intervention to stamp out the poor sanitation and hygiene. Sketching from the 80% of the youth unemployment in Uganda. Kasenyi portrays the former. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) that is high up to five children in Kasenyi needs to be checked. This kind of population is clouded with poor hygiene and unending communicable diseases. The swaying venture of the poor housing facilities, as the folks leave in shacks. This attracts insecurity and harbors thugs to mention but just a few.
Briefly, there should be a sustainable transformation in relationship to goal 6 and 13 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). There should be universal, equitable, inclusive and accessible clean water for all in relation to the targets to combat the issue the poor sanitation and hygiene and its related outcomes to the community of Kasenyi.Consequently, to improve the investment on climatic change management there should be vigilance on the natural resources like Swamps and their protectionandurban farming practices to improve the lives of Kasenyi folks with the relation of VEDCO mission.
By ZZIWA CHARLES, INTERN STUDENT (VEDCO) MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
Kamu Kalanzi is a vegetable farmer in Zirobwe, Luwero district. He has been growing green pepper for over six years. From the time he started growing vegetables, Kalanzi has always raised his own seedlings, which he grows in a nursery bed before transplanting them to the garden. For the first two years, however, the yields were not impressive despite Kalanzi’s efforts. His vegetables often suffered attacks from pests and diseases. He almost gave up on farming as a result.However, 2016 marked a turning point for Kalanzi and other farmers who were trained by Volunteers Effort for Development Concern(VEDCO) on the use of healthy seedlings.
VEDCO is implementing the Health Seedlings for Safe and more Productive Vegetables inEast Africa project in Luwero,
Mukono and Mityana districts.The project was funded by Austrian Development Agency (ADA). “We were trained on how to raise healthy seedlings which are free of pests and diseases and since then, we have been able to see our productivity increase,” Kalanzi says. Through the healthy seedlings project, farmers were provided with screen houses where seedlings are raised before being transplanted.
Great work is always appreciated. VEDCO receives a token of appreciation in recognition to the great contribution to the promotion of agricultural extension and advisory services in Uganda.
VEDCO in partnership with Oxfam Uganda are implementing a three year project that aims at empowering Local and National Humanitarian actors in Uganda specifically targeting the districts of Kotido and Kaabong in Karamoja Sub Region, Arua and Koboko in West Nile Sub Region and Lamwo and Agago in Acholi Sub Region
According to Steven Bwayo, project coordinator, the project was initiated with a vision to enable capable Local and National Humanitarian Actors (LNHA) to play a leading role in humanitarian work and also help address the challenge of limited opportunities, space and voice LNHAs face in the current humanitarian system. The three year project themed ‘Empowering Local and National and Humanitarian Actors (ELNHA) ’ is sponsored by IKEA foundation
On 4th November 2016, VEDCO launched its silage business centre which is located at VEDCO offices in Kamuli District. An open day was also held that very day with theme, “Expanding utilization of roots, tubers and bananas and reducing their postharvest losses.”
The silage business centre will be a place where communities in Kamuli can receive support in silage making, pig feeds supplementation and so much more. The launch was attended by Local Government officials, VEDCO staff and partners and members of the community.