PROJECTS

AGRO-FORESTRY

Deforestation is a main cause of environmental degradation in Uganda. Over 26% of forest and woodland cover was lost in 15 years, between 1990 and 2005. These losses continue, as people have no affordable alternative to wood fuel for cooking. Tree and bamboo planting is a high priority for our Ugandan colleagues. Nurseries to produce planting materials are being established in Kamuli and Ngora with involvement of many schools and communities in these projects. The 2019 project in Kamuli has a planting target of 40,000 trees and bamboo in its first year.

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Since 2011, Ugandan colleagues in Kamuli, Moses Kitimbo, Connie Kauma, Paul Musenero, Rachaeal Nairuba and Wilberforce Isanga, have formed an environmental farming group Dolen Ffermio Environmental Farming and Health,(DFEFH) which has around 400 farmer members in 10 areas. Tree planting was the initial focus.

A very exciting development in Kamuli for DFEFH has been the acquisition of 28 acres of land beside the River Nile, thanks to some generous donations. It is being developed into a demonstration farm for best methods of agro-forestry, all types of trees, fruit, timber, medicinal and animal fodder trees, many crops and livestock. Water is supplied from a valley dam, near the river and pumped to a resevoir tank. Swales have been dug across the land to retain rainwater in the soil.

Accommodation is being built for volunteers and eco-tourism. We are promoting bamboo cultivation which has been underdeveloped in Uganda. With its many species, and fast growth, it can be an excellent substitute for timber, in construction, charcoal making, furniture, crafts and even food and clothing. We are fortunate in learning from Andrew Kalema Ndawula farmer, journalist, and bamboo specialist.

PERMACULTURE principles are being followed in all our projects. Permaculture can be defined as: ” A fresh and creative approach of tackling problems. It draws from nature, from traditional practices and from contemporary thinking, to create a solutions and function based approach to design. The subject is potentially of interest for everyone as it applies to food, energy, waste, soil, water, housing, local economies, people and enterprise” Permaculture is proving ideal for Uganda’s small-holding farms, to maximise production, while conserving the environment.

In 2016 Steve jones of Sector 39, Montomeryshire, Wales, led the first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in Eastern Uganda, on our Kamuli land. Another was held in 2017 for a Busoga High School food garden, and then an all East African one and convocation in Western Uganda that many of our colleagues attended. In December 2019 Charles Mugarura, our permaculture consultant, will lead a PDC for teachers and farmers in Ngora district.

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