The future of over 3,000 children of the displaced in Hoima remain uncertain

When you visit the camps on the displaced people in Hoima, especially in Kigyayo –Muziranduru village, Munteme Parish, Kiziranfumbi sub county, Hoima District, you are greeted by faces of young, malnourished and seemingly destitute and hopeless children.

In Rwamutonga Village Bugambe Sub County, the situation is not different either. The children of ages zero to 15 years have no clothes, chances of accessing a meal are equivalent to none and education to the school going age in a dream. The health condition in these two camps is a dare state and appalling.
Out of the 4,633 people occupying the two camps in Kigyayo, 3,357 are children. These children, like their parents, depend on well-wishers for food and clothing. Their health conditions are terrible and terrifying. Government at all levels seems unbothered by their condition.

“When the RDC came here two month ago, he promised us a mobile health clinic but up to date nothing has happened”, Mr. Steven Matovu, one of the Kigyayo camps leaders explained to Community Green Radio staff that had paid them a visit on March 8th.2016.

Kigyayo camps are hosted by two churches after these, now landless people were violently evicted from their land in February 2015 to pave way for establishment of a sugar factory. The Factory, owned by Hoima Sugar Limited, was officially opened by President Yoweri Museveni on May 1st 2016 on the sidelines of the International Labor Day celebrations that were in Hoima District.

Rwamutonga Camp has over 250 children; over 157 of these are of school going age but have no education. The camp is a home to over 1,276 people who were violently evicted from their land in August 2014.
NAPE, through Community Green Radio has been in on a campaign drive to collect relief items for these suffering children. As of late April 2016, each of the two communities had been visited more than twice by the NAPE/Green radio staff together with their partners that included Rosa Luxembourg Foundation

Indigenous seeds disappearance ruining culture in Bunyoro sub-region

 Indigenous seeds 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

by Precious Naturinda

The introduction of high yielding seed varieties and use of chemical fertilizers in the Bunyoro sub-region has eroded the diversity of indigenous seeds threatening local culture and food security.

Indigenous seeds have long been part of Bunyoro’s cultural heritage. They are integral part of many rituals, traditionally ceremonies and festivals that celebrate the cycle of birth, life and death. For example, seeds of millet, peas and others were used for ritual performances and offertories and this compelled people to save the seeds. The practice of seed saving has also been a cornerstone of farming that made agriculture a way of life.

As farmers moved away from the practice of saving and exchanging seeds with their neighbors and families to buying seeds from the market, their own indigenous knowledge systems related to farming and seed saving slowly became irrelevant. As a result, crop diversity has suffered. Alice Kazimula, a farmer from Bulisa, says the indigenous seeds were pest resistant and would be saved for long compared to high-yielding varieties that depend on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. She says this is threatening food sovereignty and security.

Asuman Irumba, the chairperson of the Coalition of Custodians of Sacred natural sites in Bunyoro sub-region, says it should be the responsibility of every individual to go back to the traditional knowledge of saving seeds before they get extinct so as to conserve the cultural heritage.

Especially the role of women has been crucial to seed conservation efforts to keep their families endowed with food,says Sheila Kyomugisha, the NAPE Gender and food security Officer: “They should go back to the culture of exchanging the available indigenous seed varieties so that they can be regenerated.”

NAPE is working with communities in Bunyoro Region to ensure that the indigenous seeds are restored.