UPDATE FROM THE FIELD: BITONGO

Written by: Clare Lovelace

Bitongo is located at the base of the formidable Virunga mountains in the Kisoro region of Uganda. Since RTV breaking ground in 2011, the community has worked hard to secure a better future for themselves and future generations. 

Remember the 23 goats that arrived in the village last year? Well they’ve been busy, 11 have given birth to date and there are now 35 goats living happily in the ‘abandoned place’ (the name doesn’t really ring true anymore!).  In late March all goats were de-wormed and tagged so we can track their progress; ensuring they stay healthy and continue to provide vital nutrition and income to the community.

One of the members brings her goat for de-worming treatment

 

Last year demonstration plots were planted and now potatoes, beans and cabbages have been harvested and sold and the funds have gone back into the agricultural cooperative. This program has led to 20 households benefiting from improved seeds and farming techniques. Additional members are being added to the program each season which will lead to Bitongo’s self sufficiency and equipping them to deal with challenges such as unseasonal weather and crop disease.

 

Harvesting of cabbages from the demo plot

 

Every household is now able to collect water from one of the 3 rainwater harvesting tanks that have been constructed. Before these tanks were in place, villagers would have to walk 6 hours to collect water that was likely to be contaminated. Now they only have to walk for 10 minutes and can collect clean water several times a day.  The effective management of these tanks by a committee ensures the village has enough water during the dry season and helps to prevent water borne diseases.

 

The passion and dedication of the community along with the support from RTV has proven to be a winning combination. Just see what we can achieve when we work together!

 

Bitongo cabbages at the demo plot in their second season

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