For a child who was nurtured at Namutamba, I cry tears when I get there. The place is so backward yet it would be among the most progressive in Uganda. To me Namutamba was one of the 1st places in Uganda to get civilization in the actual sense. The role played by the Lea Wilson Family when they got to Namutamba and eventually evolved the Namutamba Tea Estate and Dairy Farm as well as a primary school which later came to be called Namutamba Demonstration School was very instrumental in the initial fame which Namutamba enjoyed. It was real civilization; there was a lot of togetherness more so with the Rwandese who came from Rwanda to work on the estate. Today, Namutamba is a sad story. It is poverty, yet there are resources which can see the area come up very fast, however, these have to be nurtured and the community can easily be got to participate in their eventual welfare.
I would love to spearhead the Namutamba Must Develop (NAMUDE) initiative. As a trained Rural Economist, an innovator, a man who loves to see the welfare of others, it is my desired goal to see the area which saw me in childhood develop given the current indicators which are symptoms of poverty.
Namutamba a parish is found within Bulera Sub – County in Mityana district.
The focal area is about 12 – 15 miles from Mityana town along Bulera road via Kitemu. The development I wish to be part of should see the following among others:
1. Easing of transport to and fro Mityana. Currently, if one misses the very early vehicles to Mityana, he/she has to hire a commercial motor cyclist for 12 or more miles at the cost of shs 7,000. This means that there should be improved taxi availability so that people are sure of getting a taxi to and fro Mityana at anytime they wish to travel;
2. There is need to use a better health facility as a magnet to attract people to be party to the innovations that may eventually change them, this, to offer services at highly discounted rates is in the right direction and also offer a number of services including maternity, antenatal, laboratory, admissions and a full time doctor and other specialized medical personnel. People to be encouraged to have savings with the facility and also be allowed to get treatment on credit or even pay in kind using what they produce in their gardens may all go a long way in promoting the health facility;
3. Conducting a baseline survey to bring out the people’s ills and endeavouring to cater for them can go along way in easing the lives of the people at Namutamba. These may include:
i. Availing a Filling station in close vicinity. Currently, those with vehicles can only fill from Mityana!
ii. The mobile money facility calls for going to Mityana to cash or even to send. Getting these services to the people is critical and very time saving;
iii. There are a variety of goods which people have to buy from Mityana yet they would buy them from some big shop around in the area and save, this calls for opening up such a shop with a hardware component;
iv. Setting up a collecting centre for merchandize which may be taken to market in Mityana or beyond;
4. There is need to set up an NGO arrangement to oversee most of the community mobilization in the area this may undertake among other things:
a) Encourage the formation of single sex Self Help Groups (SHGs) as a vehicle to enhance the savings culture among the people and the working in group arrangement for their betterment;
b) Help with better innovations, for example the area has many cattle keepers who need to move from quantity of animals kept to quality as well as undertake zero – grazing;
c) The NGO may be able to encourage innovations which may help farmers to grow in bigger quantities and hence get means to process so as to get a bigger margin from their products;
d) There is poor agricultural undertaking. Better soil management as well as enterprise management can help the poor people move away from the misery they are currently in;
5. There is need to work on the roads. The road from Mityana gets bad when one starts climbing Namutamba Hill after Bakijjulula. If there is away this road can be worked on, chances are that greater economic activity will be undertaken.
The above is my dream, it is my prayer that the Almighty God helps me to get partners with whom we can see the development of Namutamba real.
A Namutamba Community uplifted from poverty of the majority to better social and economic conditions as depicted by greatly improved living standards.
Awakening the intellectual and decision making potential of the people of Namutamba so that they change their circumstances for the better
To see development a reality among the community members in Namutamba Parish and enjoyed sustainably.
THE PROJECT VALUES
1. Love, justice and compassion for all.
2. Encourage autonomy and self sufficiency.
3. Act professionally; with fairness, integrity and understanding.
4. Uphold Human Rights and challenge inequality and injustices.
5. Environmental protection.
6. Commitment and service to the poor.
i. Majority of the people of Namutamba can be rightly taken to be living in poverty circumstances. Poverty in Namutamba Parish can be described as the absence of those ethical, social and material resources needed to develop the moral, intellectual and social capacities of individuals within the area;
ii. High prevalence of illness among members of the Namutamba Parish Community, which hinders productivity by reducing productive hours of work (in case of Malaria, more than 1 working week is lost), eating in income that would be put on better welfare alternatives and eventually reducing life expectancy, yet there is lack of well facilitated health services in the area which calls for high transport costs to Mityana and other medical facilities beyond Mityana town;
iii. Many youth and professionals from the area have left for economic opportunities elsewhere; this is so due to the prevailing poverty which situation does not generate employment opportunities (Poverty is not just material deprivation but a continuous process of “Dis-empowerment” that includes denial of choices/rights/opportunities, discrimination, disparity, domination, displacement, de-humanization)
iv. The road infrastructure is a problem; If the roads are made passable, some of the strategies below when undertaken, slowly but steadily get the Glory of Namutamba may be a reality;
The factory which was the pride of the area is no longer in production of Tea Leaves. The would be employees are not employed and the tea plantations are simply overgrowing.
The tea estate during the good times when the factory was in production
v. It is surprising that the cattle farmers at Namutamba are yet to get modern. Through the 1970‟s to date one sees the cattle keepers at Kyetume using traditional methods. The fencing using natural trees which exploit the soil are the norm. The „Busitani‟ trees were there when we were young and today one sees the same! Why are we not having trees which are food for cattle? Why don’t we have fewer cattle and emphasize quality vis a vis quantity? Why don’t we see farmers practice zero grazing for their cattle?
vi. Namutamba Demonstration School is a pillar school in the area, however, it is in appalling situation. The school has a number of infrastructures in poor shape; the teachers‟ houses are in appalling situation, many of the school facilities are in a poor shape hence cannot enhance the excellence of the children, the school does not have a single a computer, children don’t grow food yet there is land that can be utilized to see them have food, the sports grounds are in a poor shape and need to be worked on, sports equipment lacking, toilets need to be worked on, water is fetched from the valley yet there can be water harvesting from the school buildings, the welfare of teachers is poor, there is need to boost it, a sick bay needs to be equipped and a school nurse in place, there is need to increase on the non-teaching staff from a force of only two, there is need to procure a machine to help in the production of children’s periodical examinations, putting up a kitchen worth the status of the school and improving boarding facilities and lighting at night for the children;
THE PROJECT WILL
1. Collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries;
2. Serve as a clearing house, provide farmers, traders and other interested public's information they need to make rational decisions on planning, investment, marketing, research and training;
3. Enhance women empowerment using the Self Help Groups (SHGs) initiative as a vehicle to see them get command over some income and in decision making, the two foundation stones on which the SHG principle is based are: Every human being has tremendous potential in her/himself. This hidden potential in the poor can be unleashed if the right environment is provided and, as an individual, the poor are voiceless, powerless and vulnerable. By bringing them together as a homogenous collective, they have tremendous strength. Poverty is not just material deprivation but a continuous process of “Dis-empowerment” that includes denial of choices/rights/opportunities, discrimination, disparity, domination, displacement, de-humanization (photos below give the picture of what the community will go through);
THE NEED TO SEE MALNUTRITION AS HISTORY
A good number of people in Namutamba Parish suffer from some form of malnutrition, hence cannot sustain healthy, active lives. The result is devastating illness and death, as well as incurable loss human potential and social development. Many suffer from diseases caused by unbalanced diets as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Malnutrition puts women at greater risk of complications and death during pregnancy and child birth. Micronutrient deficiencies have to be solved:
1) Ensure that pregnant women don‟t get Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) which causes:
a) Poor school performance and less energy for play in children;
b) Higher risk of death during child birth in pregnant women;
c) Diminished work capacity and productivity in adults.
2) Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) this takes its toll on children:
a) It is the most common cause of preventable blindness;
b) It carries a higher risk of illness and death;
3) Reducing chances of goiter development as a result of lack of Iodine:
a) This increases the risk that children will be born mentally handicapped;
b) Reduced growth and mental development in children.
Micronutrients availability to be increased through encouraging the growing and eating a food rich in micronutrients such as fruits, vegetables, fish and livestock products
FOCUS ON WOMEN PRODUCTIVITY
Women in Namutamba Parish on average work for about 15 hours a day, however, their labour hour input is inversely proportional to the value of the output, both that low yields are realized due to ill-advised practices. Namutamba Must Develop (NAMUDE) will empower the women through Self Help Groups (SHGs) of 15 – 20, where they will learn interventions that can help boost productivity and also focus on market to earn income.
INTERVENTIONS TO COUNTER HIV/AIDS
While there is knowledge about HIV/AIDS countrywide, specific interventions are needed in Namutamba Parish with objectives as:
1. To see to reduced contraction of HIV;
2. To see to counseling and care of those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS;
3. To see to medication of those who are HIV positive and also have them active in work to earn a living;
4. To see to increased life span of those who are HIV positive;
5. To put in place interventions to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children and ensure their education and social security catered for.
By William Kituuka Kiwanuka.