Approximately 86 percent of Uganda's 34 million inhabitants are involved in agricultural activities. Uganda is blessed with fertile soils, ample rainfall and a number of vital natural resources which have helped Uganda's economy remain relatively stable. Despite this, 40 percent of Ugandans still lack access to clean water and 25 percent live below the poverty line. Violence against women continues to be widely tolerated and is also a leading factor of increased infection levels of HIV/AIDS in Ugandan women over men.
The Hunger Project has been working in Uganda since 1999 and is currently empowering partners in 11 epicenter communities to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access the basic services needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and lead lives of self-reliance.
Improving Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of program implementation in The Hunger Project-Uganda epicenter communities. Many Hunger Project partners in Uganda use energy stoves, which reduce firewood consumption by an average of 60 percent. Women have replaced their cooking fire or three-stone stoves with more efficient clay stoves which burn less wood. In this way, women do not have to spend as much time collecting firewood. Efficient stoves mean less work for women.
The Hunger Project-Uganda has been successful at creating long-term partnerships with a number of organizations.
A partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Kiboga Epicenter builds the capacity of rural partners to prepare and respond to a number of diseases affecting their main crop: cassava. Diseases have devastated harvests and continue to threaten the food security and incomes of cassava-dependent families. This four-year partnership with CRS will help partners to protect their harvests and increase their yields and household incomes.
The Hunger Project-Uganda partnered with AFFORD in Uganda and received 3,000 treated anti-malarial bednets for partners in Mpigi Epicenter. In the fight against malaria, Hunger Project animators are enrolled as community drug distributors who are trained by the government and given malaria drugs to distribute. Detailed records are kept of which partners have received nets and accessed malaria treatment drugs.
Through its Microfinance Program in the first half of 2012, The Hunger Project disbursed loans totaling $596,120. Partners in Uganda deposited $217,807 in savings during the year. Of the 11 epicenters that are operating in Uganda, seven have government-recognized Rural Banks.