Orange potato to save lives
|A biofortified new strain of sweet potato is being piloted by Self Help Africa in Uganda, in a bid to combat health problems resulting from vitamin deficiency in the local population. |
Farmers in Kayunga district are taking part in trial production of a beta-carotene enriched orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) – a food crop with the potential to combat widespread
Vitamin A deficiency in the region.
Livestock project targets returned refugees
|Recently returned refugees and other vulnerable people are the target of a new pilot project to improve crop production and livestock farming in northern Uganda.|
Self Help Africa has teamed up with the Ugandan branch of UK charity ‘Send a Cow’ to support 300 families in an initial pilot to develop livestock farming and support crop production activities in Amuru region.
Reviving banana production
|Sometimes, finding ways of diversifying farm income can be found in a country’s past. The banana is such an essential part of the diet in Uganda that the local word for the fruit, ‘matooke’, also means ‘food’.|
For generations, the crop has been a staple food and source of income for small-farmers, with Uganda amongst the top 20 producer countries in the world. Ugandans are also the largest consumers of bananas – eating an estimated 250kg-300kg per person per annum.
Organic links for Amuria farmers
|Self Help Africa has paved the way for farmers in Amuria to access a potentially lucrative new market and certification for their produce.|
Discussions have taken place with the privately operated Nile Teas (Uganda) Ltd, who promote organic farm produce including honey, sesame and hibiscus - the latter of which is exported to the UK for the manufacture of herbal tea.
The company has been seeking to contract farmers in Amuria, an opportunity that will enable them to diversify into the production of new organic produce. Furthermore, the organic certification which could result would open up additional opportunities and markets for farmer producers.
Assistant Commissioner visits Self Help Africa project
|The Assistant Commissioner at the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has applauded Self Help Africa's work in breaking the dependency culture, following a fact-finding visit to the Kamuli project area.|
The visit was the first by a senior representatives of the MAAIF to Self Help's work. The Assistant Commr. for Production and Marketing said that the key role that beneficiaries played in every activity was highly commendable.
Maternity units to open
|Construction work on two new maternity units in the Amuria area of Uganda has been completed.|
The facilities at Morungatuny and Kuju sub-counties both have delivery theatres, and will also provide pre and post natal care for mothers in two remote districts in the project area.
Both units will be fully operational once staff and medical equipment have been deployed to the two facilities.
Meanwhile, discussions have been held in Amuria with the Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation (BCMCF), a non-profit NGO, on the formation of a partnership to support a sustainability paediatric and adolescent anti-retroviral (ART) programme, and HIV/AIDS services in the area.
|Vincent Momoba was born in Buloga parish in Namwanga district, close to the shores of Lake Kyoga in the Kamuli area of Uganda. He talks about his work.|
|Construction work is underway on a pit latrine at Kakooge maternity unit in Kamuli, while a further latrine unit is to be built at the Kagumba maternity unit in the coming months - to improve hygiene and sanitation for mothers during neo natal and post-natal care.|
|Seventeen voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) outreach clinics for HIV/AIDS were carried out in Kamuli during the third quarter of 2008. |
Testing for HIV was provided to 723 men and 636 women. Of those tested, 30 men and 17 women were recorded as positive - a 3.5% infection rate.
|Self Help Africa is reporting a 99% repayment rate from farmers who received ox ploughs to increase their farm production in the Kamuli project area.|
261 out of 262 farmers who received loans from the project to buy ox ploughs have repayed their borrowing, by the final months of 2008.
'Farmers repay their loans after harvest time, and are happy to do so because the ploughs have both saved them a lot of work, and allowed them to increase their yields', says project manager Charles Mugoowa.
'The only loan which was not repayed was in the case of a farm family where the farmer had died during the year', he added. The funds that are redeemed allows Self Help Africa to purchase equipment to assist other families on a similar 'revolving fund' basis.
Introduction to Self Help Africa
|Above is a short introduction to Self Help Africa and its work.|
Generating business for women
|As mothers of young families, Edith Nakiyemba and Mirabu Mokoda say that a few years ago it would have been ‘unthinkable’ for them to be able to borrow money to start their own businesses.|
But as founder members of the Bamukiisa savings and credit co-operative (SACCO) established by Self Help Africa in Namwendwa district in Uganda three years ago, the window of opportunity was opened for both of them.
A sustainable exit from Kamuli
|Self Help Africa has held a series of local communities and government ministry representatives, to ensure the long term sustainability of programme activities in Kamuli, following th phase out by SHA from the project in the coming year.|
A series of proposals to ensure the continuing successful operation of boreholes, seed stores, maternity units and co-operatives has been agreed, while a number of strategies to ensure that farmers associations and co-operatives can become vibrant commercial enterprises have been drafted.
Amongst these measures, it was agreed that policies and bye laws for the management of projects would be adopted, and that the area technical planning committee take overall charge and responsibility for different elements of the project, with a 'Self Help' desk established at district level.
Motorbike support for literacy
|48 local facilitators completed training as adult literacy instructors in Kamuli during 2008. |
The project has been running a series of courses in villages across the district. In order to support this work a motorcycle has been provided to the local Dept. of Community Development, to enable literacy trainers to cover a wider area of Kamuli.
|Study for new area completed|
|A baseline survey for a planned new area based programme at Kumi-Bukedea in Uganda has been completed, in preparation for the start up of the project in 2009.|
Situated in north-eastern Uganda, the Kumi-Bukedea five year development project will cover an area with a total population of more than 122,000 people. It is located adjacent to Self Help Africa's Amuria project.
Bukedea is an administrative region with 73 parishes and 146 villages, while there are 149 parishes and 298 villages in the Kumi district.
News from our African programmes :
|Self Help Africa - UK|
Second Floor, Westgate House,Dickens Court,
Hills Lane, Shrewsbury, SY1 1QU
Tel. +44 (0) 1743 277170
|Self Help Africa - Ireland|
Kingsbridge House, 17-22 Parkgate Street,
Dublin 8, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Tel. +353 (0)1 6778880
|Self Help Africa Inc.|
41 Union Square West, Suite 1027
New York, NY 10003, USA
Tel. +1 212 206 0847
|Self Help Africa is an international charity registered in Ireland and the United Kingdom Registered charity number: 6663 (Ireland), and 298830 (UK)|
Self Help Africa is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organisation in the United States.
|Self Help Africa receives|
support from the following
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