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Monday, August 30, 2010

Banyabindi slam reconciliation between Toro and Rwenzururu

THE Banyabindi, one of the minority ethnic tribes in Kasese district, have castigated the proposed reconciliation process between the Toro and Rwenzururu kingdoms.

Francis Kamuhanda, the spokesperson, said the Rwenzururu king, Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, had to reconcile first with the Banyabindi and some Bakonzo.

A group of Bakonzo and Bamba, led by Mumbere’s late father Isaya Mukirane walked out of Toro’s Rukurato (parliament) in 1962, accusing the Toro kingdom of oppression and marginalisation.

The group started a rebellion which led to the creation of Kasese and Bundibugyo districts by former president Idi Amin Dada in 1974.

Kamuhanda said the Rwenzururu fighters killed several Banyabindi and forced hundreds of others off their land.

“We are currently living in camps because of the Rwenzururu rebellion against Toro kingdom,” Kamuhanda said.

“It’s good to reconcile but what the Rwenzururu king is trying to do is sweetened poison,” he asserted.

“We were injured and are still injured,” Kamuhanda said.

The 205 Kajura commission on Obusinga bwa Rwenzururu recommended the setting up of a committee to reconcile the warring parties in the kingdom.

The Banyabindi and Basongora pastoralists, who form the minority tribes in Kasese district, have demanded separate districts.

Last year, the district council resolved to create Nyakatonzi sub-county for the Basongora pastoralists but they rejected it, saying the proposed boundary was tampered with.

Efforts to get a comment from the kingdom information minister and spokesperson, Patrick Nyamunungu, failed.

By Mugasa Evelyn

RIC-NET reveals Its ICT strategy to monitor the electoral process

"Its so beautiful" the coordinator Rweco remarked as RIC-net programs manager presented the ICT strategy to the delegates from Dutch and Belgium embassies.The delegates made a visit to Rweco, a consortium of civil society organizations involved in the monitoring of the electoral process.

During the meeting with the Delegates, the programs manager RIC-NET revealed the ICT strategy which RIC-net and other RWECO members intends to use in monitoring the electoral process of 2010 to 2011.This strategy will use the Ushandi platform that was used in Kenya during the elections 2009.This platform allows the citizens and monitors to send short sms to the web that has been created and later these SMS are used as backup to the final results.

(more details later)
By Timothy Balikenga

How to control Pests in plants

There are many things on the market today to use as bug repellent for plants. The problems with these repellents are most of them are made with harsh chemicals that are dangerous not only to the pests but to humans as well. Today, people want an organic or natural solution to gardening problems, and few are as natural or effective as repellant planting.

Repellent plants give protection to nearby plants at up to a distance of three feet. Some plants will repel a host of pests while some work against only one or two. It should be noted that planting repellent plants won't get rid of bugs overnight, but it will lead to a pest free environment in time.

Garlic works against most insects and can be planted anywhere without invading the flavor of plants nearby, whether fruits or vegetables. Garlic chives also work with almost any plants. They work great at protecting trees and rose bushes and also look fabulous while doing it, with their white blossoms topping the plants.

The onion family is not alone in its pest repellent capabilities. Certain herbs and flowers serve as great repellent plants also. Tansy (also known as yellow buttons) has a strong fragrance that keeps most bugs at a distance. Mint makes a great companion plant next to cabbage, and it also repels mice. If you have any trouble with mice in your house, leave a few sprigs of fresh mint on your counters at night (or wherever the mice frequent).

Flowers also not only add beauty to a garden, they, too, are great repellent plants. Marigolds are extremely easy to grow and do wonders at keeping bugs at bay, both above and below the soil.

The white geranium lures the hungry Japanese beetle, but after eating the plant, they die.

Below is a list of repellent plants and the bugs they help get rid of.

Tansy: borer, cucumber beetle, cutworm, Japanese beetle, squash bug

Garlic/Onion family: borer, aphids, mites, rabbits, rose chafer

Pennyroyal: ants, aphids

Mint: ants, cabbage maggot, flea beetle, mice

Tomato: asparagus beetle, flea beetle, cabbage maggot

Rosemary: cabbage maggot, cabbage moth, carrot fly, Mexican bean beetle, slugs

Nasturtium: aphids, cabbage moth, squash bug, pumpkin beetle, white fly

Sage: cabbage maggot, carrot fly, nematode

Southernwood: ants, cabbage moth, fruit tree moth

Wormwood: cabbage moth, carrot fly, slugs

Marigold: eelworm, Mexican bean beetle, tomato hornworm, white fly

Petunia: aphids, leafhopper, rose chafer, Mexican bean beetle, nematode

White geranium: Japanese beetle, rose chafer, leafhopper

Castor bean: gophers, moles

Green beans: Colorado potato beetle

Potatoes: Mexican bean beetle

Buckwheat: wireworm

Catnip: cabbage moth, flea beetle

Asparagus: nematode

Borage: tomato hornworm

Knowing what bugs certain plants repel can help one plan and plant a garden. For example, if the potato beetle hates green beans and a bean beetle hates potatoes, it only stands to reason that one would want to put the two near each other. This holds true for tomatoes and asparagus also.

When selecting plants to use as repellents, it is important to study the plant as a whole. For instance, borage may repel the tomato hornworm but at the same time it will attract bees. So before purchasing plants or seeds to fulfill one specific purpose, know as much about them as possible.

By Sharon .M.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

IEC Materials Development to boost Information Sharing

At this time I am sure you should be asking this question that most people have been posing every time they read this! "What is IEC?" Yes! Here you will get the answer to your question. The Term IEC refers to Information, Education and Communication. This points at any item used with a purpose of passing on Information from one party to another. Examples Include include; Reports, websites/blogs, videos, digital stories, posters, banners, brochures, audio files, the list goes long!

Several trainings are being conducted to enhance skills in developing IEC materials. Under this programme, RIC-NET staff together with other participants country wide ended a one week training which was held at EACOS in Nakawa, Kampala.

Objective of the Programme: To provide Knowledge and skills and experience in developing IEC materials for use by partners and beneficiaries.

We are hopeful that members will learn to appreciate the various Information sharing method being introduced to enhance community development.


Bwambale Edwin

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


When you have an abundant harvest or live close enough to farms to take advantage of farmer’s markets, you’ll want to put every last tomato and peach to good use. Preserving the harvest can let you enjoy the fruits of your labor for months to come. There are several methods for preserving your fruits, vegetables and herbs. Which method you choose will depend on the type of fruit or vegetable you are preserving and your ambition level.
They are:

Storing is the easiest method for keeping your harvest, but most vegetables don’t have a long shelf life. There is an excellent listing here of vegetables from beets to winter squash and the best methods and duration for storage. Root vegetables and vegetables that can be cured, like onions and winter squash, will last the longest.
Some basic tips for storing fruits & vegetables:
• Only store fully mature, healthy vegetables. Any bruised or immature vegetables should be eaten fresh or preserved by other means.
• Clean of soil and allow the outside of vegetables to dry before freezing.
• Keep a few inches on stem on winter squash and also cut the green tops of root crops to an inch or so.

Many vegetables keep well in the freezer. When blanched and frozen soon after harvesting, this can be the best method for retaining nutrients, as well as color, texture and flavor. Most vegetables can last 8 - 12 weeks in the freezer.
Some basic tips for freezing fruits & vegetables:
 Freeze food immediately after packaging
 Keep freezer temperature at 0 degrees F. Or lower. You can set your freezer control for -10 degrees F. the day before freezing, to speed the process
 Don’t try to pack your freezer with unfrozen produce. This will only lower the temperature in the freezer and lengthen the time needed for the produce to chill.

Canning is a great method for preserving fruits and vegetables with a high water content, like tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and peaches, but it is essential you follow canning guidelines to the letter.
Some basic tips for canning fruits & vegetables:
• Choose only disease free fruits or vegetables and wash them well before processing
• Use clean jars and new seal lids
• Process in boiling water or a pressure canner for the specified amount of time

Drying fruits, vegetables and herbs is also a very easy process and can be done without any special equipment or speeded up by using the oven or a dehydrator. Dried fruits, seeds, jerky, leather and even popcorn can be done by these methods.
Some basic tips for drying fruits, vegetables & herbs:
• Be sure the fruits and vegetables are fully mature and disease free.
• Provide good air circulation while drying, to prevent spoilage.
• Don’t rush the process. Partially dried fruits, vegetables and herbs won’t last long.

Cucumbers come to mind when we think of pickling, but many vegetables and fruits can be preserved in this manner, including peppers, cauliflower, apples and pears. Relishes are also prepared by pickling
Some basic tips for pickling fruits & vegetables:
• Always follow a tested recipe. Even in vinegar, spoilage can happen. Canning pickled products by the boiling water methods further stops spoilage.

Posted by Diana