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Hunger Fighters Uganda as a cooperating partner of World Food Programme (WFP) is carrying out complementary activities in addition to the General Food Distribution at the 06 FDPs of Nakivale and 01 FDP of Oruchinga refugee settlement and at 16 schools of which demonstration kitchen gardening is one of them. These can be established using the waste packaging materials produced when food is removed from sacks and containers during food distribution. This is viewed by HFU as a source of raw materials (an opportunity) for setting-up kitchen gardens at the FDPs. HFU seeks to demonstrate how farming of vegetables can be done in limited space in order to combat hidden hunger alongside GFA with an aim of building capacity of the beneficiaries to be in position to use the empty containers and sacks for kitchen gardening in their homes and at schools with limited farm land.

HFU’s Strategic Objective IV delineates complimentary activities as a package to GFA distribution. These activities aim at promoting behavioral change and mutual relationship among refuges and the host communities in line with the Go U’S ReHOPE strategythrough engagement in activities like Water and Sanitation, Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Gender and Hunger and Learning initiatives.

Waste Recycling Innovation

There are thousands of waste packaging materials that arise out of emptying sacks, containers of food and oil at the end of each cycle of food distribution at the 07 FDPs of Nakivale and Oruchinga. Disposal of these waste packaging materials poses a challenge to the GFA activity since misuse by recipients could portray an image that WFP/Partners might be tolerating Fraud or mismanaging beneficiaries’ food. In addition, many of the waste packing materials are not biodegradable and therefore, pose a threat to the environment as well as harbouring rodents and vermines. At the same time, refugee beneficiaries are still vulnerable to food insecurity due to the dependency on food aid. More so, improper agronomic practices hinder optimal production for small plots owned by refugees. Thus the proposed activity will enhance learning through demonstration exhibited at the FDPs for best agronomic practices and reduce on total dependence on only food aid in the context of self-reliance. More so, the activity opens options for engaging host communities as FDPs will serves as learning centres for all.

Climate Change Mitigation - Kitchen gardening models

Hunger Fighters Uganda has succeeded in establishing kitchen gardens at Base Camp II FDP in which it is carrying out GFA. Base Camp II’ hosts the largest population of beneficiaries (approximately 60,000 per cycle). Approximately 70 M2 of space has successfully been used to grow different vegetables. Despite the relatively hot and dry environmental conditions experienced in Isingiro during the vegetable establishment, excellent yields have been realized. This was as a result of problem solving innovations geared to protecting the crops against potentially decimating effects of the weather elements.  Questions that had to be answered during kitchen garden design, establishment and maintenance included, “How can vegetables be grown in a place that experiences very high-dry season temperatures of up to 33.40C?” (Weather records at Waldelai weather station in 2017)?  How can HFU demonstrate vegetable growing in limited space? What are the available raw materials and how can they be effectively utilized during the kitchen garden establishment? How do we cater for one’s tastes and preferences in design of the kitchen gardens? Last but not least, what vegetable varieties can be grown in these kitchen gardens?

In light of these questions, kitchen gardens of different designs were established at base camp II and all of them have produced excellent harvests! These harvests have already been done for some vegetables like collards (sukuma wiki) and spinach and they have been given to EVIs, and expectant mothers.

Four types of kitchen gardens have been successfully established at base camp II. These include wooden crate boxes, sack gardens, jerry can gardens, and key-hole gardens. The wooden crate gardens are 07 in number and have successfully grown crops like cabbages, onions, spinach, African eggplants, beet root and green pepper