Wednesday October 28 2015

Karimojong avert hunger with kitchen gardens


By Steven Ariong

Karamoja sub region in north eastern Uganda has been experiencing hunger.
The current hunger is a result of prolonged dry spell and acute crop failure in the last rainy season.
In the last one month, unspecified numbers of families in Kaabong and Moroto districts fled to Kenya looking for food.
However, for the families that have remained in the region have got a way to ensure that even if there is no flour but children can eat only greens.

These families have embraced the use of kitchen gardens after they acquired skills from Caritas, a nongovernmental organisation founded by Catholic Church.
Ms Betty Naput, a mother of five and a resident of Losikait village, Iriiri Sub county in Napak District said, planting vegetables in the kitchen gardens has helped her feed the children since she could not move with them to other districts in search of food.

Ms Naput, who has four kitchen gardens with different types of vegetables such as cabbage, onions, sukuma wiki and tomatoes, said she has managed to feed her children even if she does not have flour.
“I am finding it easier because my children have something they can put in their stomachs instead of them starving,” she said.
Mr Peter Loke, another resident that established a kitchen garden said almost every household in Iriiri has established kitchen gardens.
Mr Loke added that he was planning to take his greens for sale in some hotels in Napak District to earn money for buying books for his children.

According to Loke, when they were first taught by Caritas Moroto, it looked difficult but they have grown to like it.
“As we speak, I am expecting to make Shs200,000 from this initiative if I am to take these greens to sale in Napak hotels because greens are on demand,” he said.
Caritas’ official Festo Longole Lorika said the project was initiated following the demand by locals.
He said 540 households in Iriiri Sub County have embraced the use of kitchen gardens, a project funded by Cordaid, an international agency.
He described kitchen gardens as a device to grow vegetables on a small plot of land.
He said the practice is delightful hobby and can be pursued at homes or in school.