The village of Bitongo is located at the base of the Virunga mountains in the South Western region of Uganda, near the borders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Known as “the abandoned place” in the local language, Bitongo is made up of subsistence farmers who survived on a household income of less than $0.40 a day.

Without a reliable source of water near Bitongo, local women and children were sometimes required to travel up to 40 km each and every day to collect enough water for their families, taking up to 8 a day and taking significant time away from education and income generating activities, which were virtually non-existant. The women of Bitongo had an especially difficult time, with over 85% of them illiterate and without means to support their families. Poor growing conditions for crops compounded Bitongo’s significant challenges. However, Bitongo’s biggest strength is that its community members are organised and motivated to create change to improve their standard of living.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • AGRICULTURE & NUTRITION

    Establishment of women’s goat cooperative; Agricultural training

  • WATER & SANITATION

    Construction of a Rainwater Harvesting System (RHS); RHS management training; Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) training

  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

    Micro-loan and social programs funded by Rainwater Harvesting System, Women craft training, Financial planning, bookkeeping and accounting training

VILLAGE STATS  

District: Kisoro
Sub-County: Nyarusiza
Population: 450


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PROJECT DETAILS  

Project start date: October 2011
Main challenges:
Water & Sanitation,
Agriculture & Nutrition,
Empowerment of Women,
Income Generation

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