By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/KMA Updates.
Adjumani, Northern Uganda: Uganda’s Ministry of Local Government is running a 5 year Right to Grow project (2021-2025) in the district aimed at fighting malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 years, increasing food security and livelihood implemented by Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission (ACF) with funding from The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands.(L) Mariam Akiror, the Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission (ACF) and Program Manager of Right to Grow to Grow project Adjumani, Kikuube and Yumbe districts addresses residents of Gulinya central village, Ukusijoni sub county in Adjumani District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
The project is implemented in 10 districts of Uganda especially those hosting refugees with ACF implementing it in Adjumani, Kikuube and Yumbe districts.
During a community dialogue held at Gulinya central village, Gulimya parish in Ukusijoni sub county, members from the host community committed themselves to donate land for the implementation of the project in the area.
Speaking to a one Opio Wilson Simba a resident of Korokoro Village, Ayili Parish informed that he has so far offered 15 acres of land towards the project citing that it is to benefit not only refugees in their area but also themselves.
“Refugees are our brothers and sisters regardless of where they are coming from therefore I was willingly compelled to donate my land for them to use since they were not given land and am looking forward to offer more when need comes”. He stated.
Arambe Aummi the LCIII Chairperson Ukusijoni sub county mentioned that they have so far received 308 acres of land from locals and are willing to offer more, so far bush clearing and land opening is ongoing preparing for the season.
“Am glad that ACF has facilitated bush clearing, land opening, hallowing and is committed to plant, weed and the community is willing to take over the work immediately and I promise that the sub county will support the initiative”. He added.
Amese Sorome the Optimised Land Use Model (OLUM) field supervisor for Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission Adjumani Base working with farmers in Ukusijoni Sub County and Majji II Refugee Settlement noted that in relation to the project, ACF provides seeds like orange sweet potato cuttings, cereals like maize, millet, legumes like beans, soya beans and others.
“These crops help lactating mothers, malnourished and stunted children regain and improve their nutrition status as well increasing food security in homesteads”. She stated.
She mentioned that soils in Ukusijoni being fertile, these crops grow up to their gestation period with some having a short one and this has greatly reduced malnutrition levels in the areas and with the help of supplementary feeding program like porridge from health facilities, the aim of the project is being realized.
Mariam Akiror the Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission (ACF) speaks to journalists after a community dialogue in Ukusijoni Sub-County in Adjumani District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Mariam Akiror the Advocacy and Communications Coordinator at Action Against Hunger USA-Uganda Mission and Program Manager of Right to Grow to Grow project lauded the leadership of the area, locals, religious leaders and land lords for finding time and share views, donate land for the success of the project.
While addressing a gathering of over 200 community members, Mariam committed that ACF will support the community realise food security, better health, nutrition and fight stunting in children under 5 years leaving no one behind for attainment of world without hunger.
“I am excited for the technical will of the leadership of Adjumani district towards project implementation. Two sub counties of Dzaipi and Ukusijoni have so far donated over 1000 acres each with 370 of these verified and mapped in Dzaipi and close to 300 verified and mapped in Ukusijoni”. Mariam expressed.
She went on to stress that as required by Minister of Local Government Hon. Raphael Magezi, the community has committed willingness to optimise land communally and that ACF will continue engaging donors to provide post handling units/modern food granaries to ensure food availability all year round.