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Friday, May 28, 2010

BUSONGORA RURAL INFORMATION CENTRE KICKING HIGHER

Busongora rural information together with ORDISEF is now working in seven sub counties fully active, those are Kasese town council, Muhokya sub county, L. Katwe sub county, Rukoki sub county, Kilembe sub county, Bugoye sub county, Kyabarungira sub county.

With four parishes those are railway information point Kikonzo, Rwesande Parish point, Bugoye parish point, and Katoke parish point.

Busongora information centre’s membership is made up of sub county information centres who also their membership is made up by the parish information points and parish points also their memberships are the village points and village points are local people who are farmers, C.B.Os, N.G.Os, churches etc. And when we compile all those together we make a county information centre.


BRIC have one A.G.M. in a year with all sub county information centres and points

BRIC have also three executive meetings quarterly in a year.

BRIC since 2008 to date has these services.

1. computer training classes for both drop outs from school and students

2. secretarial work is also done at the centre

3. Internet café is done at the centre.

4. Television news on W.B.S, KBC, TBC and entertainment on video shows are also at the disposal.

5. Community library with good books, news letters from RIC NET, news papers from ORDISEF, some novels from Uganda community library, even pupils and students come to revise their books in the library the place is open from 8:00 am to 10:00pm. From Monday to Monday we have no weekends for the library, T.V and video showers. BRIC in conjunction with ORDISEF wish to inform every body in the region of Rwenzori that we have started the early literacy preparing children for reading success which will help our children learn how to read and know better their language. Right from 0-5year and above. This exercise started in this year, because we found that our libraries are more of old and learned people only yet our children those from UPE, Orphan, poor and younger ones do not Know anything in reading example a P.4 even P.6 child doesn’t know how to read and a S.4 even S.6 doesn’t know how to translate some words from English to the mother language it’s a pity.

BRIC also work with aged people in Kasese it has partnership with URAA Uganda Reach the Aged Association and KAFO which has done a grate deal of work in Kasese District to old persons on advocacy and BRIC also advocates for marginalized people for their rights. That one we work hand in hand with the government and politicians in the area.

Busongora Rural information centre currently have 147 individual farmers in Rukoki sub-county. 100 farmers in Bugoye sub county, 150 farmers in Kyabarungira sub county, 40 farmers in Muhokya sub county, 50 farmers in L. Katwe sub county.

In Busongora county, we mostly grow these food staffs as mentioned blow:

Coffee, Cotton, Maize, Beans, Soya bean, Ground nuts, Pineapples, Irish potato, sweat potatoes, Cassava, Bananas, Rice, Green paper, Mangoes, Egg plants, tomatoes, onions, sugar canes.


Out of all these food crops the main cash crops of Busongora County are as follows:

Coffee, Cotton, Rice, Pineapples, Maize, Ground Nuts, Sugarcane, Beans, Tomatoes, Onions, Egg Plants, Cassava Flour and bananas on small scale plus Irish potatoes and sweat potatoes.

Challenges in farmers:

· We have some crop diseases in banana plantations, coffee plantations, Irish potatoes and sweat potatoes.

· Lack of marketing our food crops.

· Lack of communication.

· Lack of adequate information about the season of when to plant and when to harvest.

· Thieves stilling food in gardens.

· In some other areas animals from the park eating also the food crops.

· Shortage of land most of the people hire the land for cultivation.

· Financial support towards the exercise of cultivation. e.g. hiring the tractor for ploughing .

· Buying of seeds.

· Labour when weeding.

· Shelling after harvest.(a shelling machine).

· In L. Katwe sub county lions have so far eaten 30 cows for cattle keepers and even people don’t cross during the night now starting at 6:00pm up to 8:00am. There is new information of lions who climb the trees so no way to hide from it.

This data was collected from the farmers during the exercise of registration of farmers in Busongora County .

This information has been sourced and compiled by the chairperson Busongora information centres Mr. John Patrick Isingoma and the information facilitator John Kiiza written by the secretary Asifiwe Phebis.

For more information contact

0772391521 / 0701 391521 / 0792 391521 / 0779777080 /0773294886

Email: ordisef@yahoo.ca

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Floods hit Katwe salt lake, blame on Degradation.

FLOODS have ravaged Katwe salt lake in Kasese district, endangering the livelihoods of thousands of people and livestock that depend on the mineral.

John Tinka, the councillor for Katwe/Kabatoro, told the district council that the water from the incessant rains had submerged the salt pads. “The survival of thousands of people, who solely depend on the salt industry, is at stake,” he said.

About 10,000 people are in Katwe/Kabatoro, where the salt lake is located. The Kasese local government earns sh240m annually in taxes from the salt.

Business booms during the dry season when the water in the wells evaporates, leaving the salty rocks underneath the shallow lake.

The district wetlands officer, Augustine Kooli, blamed the floods on degradation of the hills surrounding the lake. “There is an unchecked run-off of rain water from the hills due to the destruction of vegetation in the catchment area,” he said.

The salt lake, the only one in Uganda, has been supplying the commodity to east and central Africa for hundreds of years. The lake produces three types of salt – kisura (edible salt), mahonde (rock salt) for human consumption and kihabule for animals.

The mishap is also affecting Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo that have been importing the salt from Katwe.

Therefore, all Ugandans are urged to be responsible to our environment because this can also happen to your region. Conserve the environment, plant more trees. Keep Uganda green.

D.M.O
Sharon.M.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quality and Standards gets introduced in the Civil Society Organizations operations - and RIC-NET was among participants.


Metadata is loosely defined as data about data. Though this definition is easy to remember, it is not very precise. The strength of this definition is in recognizing that metadata is data. As such, metadata can be stored and managed in a database, often called a registry or repository. However, it is impossible to identify metadata just by looking at it. We don't know when data is metadata or just data. Metadata is a concept that applies mainly to electronically archived data and is used to describe the a) definition, b) structure and c) administration of data files with all contents in context to ease the use of the captured and archived data for further use. Web pages often include metadata in the form of Meta tags. (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata ).

It was a great meeting between DENIVA, RIC-NET, UBOS and other organization from other districts in the country. RIC-NET took a lead in laying standards on how to collect information on the usage of Public pay phones in rural places, Information about farm produce market prices and Standards on how to measure production in Agriculture. The meeting was all about going through the previous proposed Meta data structure by the different Civil Society Organizations.

Uniformity and Standardization are very important aspects especially when one subject is being conducted at the same time by various people. It leads to quality work and accuracy. To ensure this Meta data has to be defined so that data can be captured, processed and stored or disseminated uniformly and precisely. If Meta data is already defined, proper records can be captured which also help eliminate ambiguity in data keeping and lessens the process of data mining and results can be considered uniformly though it can be from different sources and by different persons but implementing same Meta data considerations.


By

Bwambale Edwin
I.C.T Officer, RIC-NET

Friday, May 21, 2010

UGANDA: Cassava disease threatens food supplies

KAMPALA, 20 May 2010 (IRIN) - Agriculture officials and researchers in
Uganda have warned of a serious threat posed by a new strain of Cassava
Mosaic Disease, saying it could wipe out at least 202,342ha of crops.

Farmers in the central district of Mukono have been hardest-hit by the
Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), a devastating viral infection that
affects the edible parts - the tuberous roots and sometimes leaves - leading
to a total loss of yields in most cases. It is spread by white flies.

Mike Thresh, a consultant on cassava viral diseases, said the disease was
now occurring in areas previously believed to be immune, such as high
altitude areas away from the Indian Ocean coastal belt of Kenya, Tanzania
and Mozambique.

"[Initially] there was a sort of dogma that built up in scientists that
there is an altitude ceiling and that it [the disease] was not a problem
once one exceeded 1,000m above sea level," Thresh said. "The gravity of the
situation is that almost all varieties bred or selected for resistance to
Cassava Mosaic Disease [CMD] are susceptible to the 'new strain' of CBSD
occurring in Uganda, inland areas of Tanzania and Western Kenya.

"Unlike [the] case of mosaic disease where the plant is affected as well as
the yields, in the case of CBSD, the plant remains extremely vigorous and
you pass by it and conclude that it is okay, but the problem comes when you
look at the roots. What is more worrying is that it takes about 10 years to
develop a variety," Thresh said.

The symptoms include root constriction and a dry hard rot when the root is
cut. It also causes cracks and discolouration in the tubers while the
harvested roots have corky, yellow-brown necrotic spots. It also causes
patches of yellow mixed with normal green on the leaves, a phenomenon
commonly referred to as chlorosis.

Rapid spread

The disease can render susceptible varieties unusable if cassava roots are
left in the ground for more than nine months.

Stephen Mukasa, the district agricultural officer for Mukono, told IRIN
that almost all the cassava crop in the area, where 85 percent of residents
are farmers, had been affected by the disease, threatening the population's
food security.

"We have tried to sensitize farmers about the disease and how to halt its
spread - like destroying affected plants - but it keeps on spreading.
Materials that we thought could be resistant have turned out to be
susceptible to it. Even clean materials are very costly because it requires
five bags costing 25,000 shillings [US$12.50] each to plant 0.4ha and very
few farmers can afford this."

Anton Bua, an agricultural economist and team leader of the cassava
programme in the Ministry of Agriculture, said CMD in the early 1990s had
reduced to zero Uganda's cassava output of six million tonnes by 1990 from
some 202,342ha with a loss of $60 million per year.

"This had recovered to one billion tonnes of yield by 2005 but by 2009 the
area under production had not decreased but the production and the quality
had gone down [due to] a new strain of the brown streak disease," Bua said.

"We are faced with a more serious situation than we witnessed with the
mosaic disease," he added. "A recent tally indicates that over 70 percent of
Ugandans feed on cassava, with the populations in the east and west Nile
regions depending on cassava 100 percent."

Titus Alicai, a plant virologist with the National Agricultural Research
Organization, told IRIN that with funding from the government of Uganda, the
Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central
Africa, as well as the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture,
research for a cassava seed variety containing some level of tolerance to
CBSD was ongoing.

vm/js/mw[END]

The information is from Mr. Frans Kenis from BD

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WWW foundation blog on the Rwenzori

Dear,
This is what Tim of www foundation wrote about us when he came to Uganda.


http://www.webfoundation.org/2009/12/fourth-day-in-uganda


kind regards,
john silco

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

THE CURRENT LANDSLIDES, AN EYE OPENER FOR THE RWENZORI REGION

Due to the recent change in the weather patterns and increased rains in Uganda, many areas near the slopes of mountains in Uganda have been affected. Many lives have been lost due to the heavy stones that hit people, plants and animals washed away and homes destroyed. This has happened in Eastern,South Western and some Western parts of Uganda.

In my view, all this is happening due to the poor conservation methods in these highlands, population pressure which has led people to degrade the land as they search for land on which to grow crops, graze their animals and construct their houses.

This situation should open the eyes of the people in the Rwenzori Region especially in areas which are prone to landslides, they should, more than ever, work on conserving their areas and use the land appropriately so as to avoid these calamities.

By Diana K.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finance Administrator weds

Mr. Geoffrey Rwaheru, the Finance Administrator of RIC-NET wedded in a colorful ceremony to Ms. Kirungi Maureen. The couple are all finance accountants by training and practice.
Madam Maureen is the administrator Kabarole Information Centre (KIC).




The chair person RIC-NET Board Rev. Mucuguzi Isaiah, John Silco the Programme Manager and Ms. Diana the Documentation Officer; walk to give the newly wedded couple the gifts.




John Silco hands over a card with wise words to the new couple.











Ms Diana hands over a gift from RIC-NET Board and Staff.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Farmers’ capacity to identify crop diseases enhanced due to Information sharing on pests and diseases by information centres


For a long period of time, farmers in the Rwenzori region has been facing a challenge of lack of access to timely and reliable information on pests and diseases control in order to improve their productivity.

With the establishment of information centres at county, subcounty, and parish information points by farmers themselves with support from Rwenzori information centres Network (RIC-NET), rural farmers have received trainings on how to identify pests and diseases, control methods both organic and non organic, and information sharing methods of this information.

Progressive farmers have been selected and trained by RIC-NET in skills of information sharing on pests and disease identification and control. This trained has helped rural farmers to identify pests and disease that attack crops and adopt control measures that are appropriate to reduce the problem.

This was evidenced during the out break of banana bacterial wilt in the Rwenzori region where rural farmers themselves were able to identify the problem and with information from RIC-NET and other organization such as satnet managed to control the wilt.

A similar problem is now with the pineapple farmers in Kamwenge, Kasese and Kyenjojo where farmers have reported the problem and control measures have been taken by SNV and RIC-NET by producing information on pineapple wilt management.
by Balikenga Timothy

RIC-NET to establish Plant Clinics



Plant Clinics to be established by RIC-NET

RIC-NET together with SATNET is in the final stages of establishing Plant clinics in the Rwenzori region to help rural farmers access information on pests and disease control. The concept of plant clinics has been realized as one of the strategies that will help rural farmers have an interface with plant doctors who have trained by Global Plant clinic, CABI, UK in collaboration with the department of crop protection ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

This idea of plant clinic was introduced in Uganda three years ago with an aim of helping rural farmers have access to extension services from plant doctors trained by Global Plant clinic since it has been observed that most extension officers at district and sub county levels do not have enough time available for farmers compared to the number of farmers in that particular sub county/district.

Secondly, it was observed that most farmers only report cases of animal disease rather than plant diseases but a health nation needs a health plant. Thus a need to enhance the capacity of the rural farmers’ to report cases of plant disease and receive advice from trained plant doctors.

Global Plant clinic, CABI, UK in collaboration with the department of crop protection ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has trained two staff from RIC-NET and SATNET in skills of how to become plant doctors.
During this training a lot of attention was put on identifying symptoms and causes of diseases and pests, how to carryout a diagnosis of infected plants and skills in interviewing farmers who bring samples to the plant clinics.

The two trained plant doctors will then trained RIC-NET and SATNET CPFs and progressive farmers in the similar skills to enable the plant clinics to have enough man power to handle farmers’ needs.
Details visit RIC-NET and SATNET offices in fort portal or www.ricnet.info


Timothy Balikenga
Information officer.