Monday, September 24, 2007

Late September Update, Part 2

Shallow Wells:

1. Last Saturday I went to Idinda with Herbert to choose a site for the well. We selected a site with the community leaders based on their social map and walking around to two of the proposed seven sites. Herbert told them the specific amounts of locally available materials they will need and told them to mobilize the materials at the site.

# Yesterday I went to Kigulamomukidozi with Banuli. Banuli told me about this village as we were moving around to see the goat sheds the previous week. Apparently they have done a community-wide baseline survey and identified lack of pit-latrines and safe water as their primary needs. They are addressing the pit-latrines, but need help with the safe water. Banuli told me Ben has spoken with this village about WaterGuard and possibly other topics before. I'm not sure if Banuli told the community members to come at 1:00, but I showed up at 2:00 to a waiting crowd of at least 100 people. In the ten minutes of introductory speeches, at least another twenty showed up.

1. Kigulamomukidozi, aside from having a difficult name, also has a difficult water situation. The village is relatively large in area, bordering the Busalmu Trading Center. The community members estimated that the village is around 4 km2 with around 300 households.
2. The village has only one borehole. The borehole is located at an extreme end of the village, which, according to the social map they have already made, doesn't even contain a lot of households. When asked why the borehole was placed there, I was told there used to be a church there.
3. Kigulamomukidozi has no open wells or protected springs. Because people have to walk so far to access the only borehole, most resort to taking water from open streams or dirty water sources.
4. These people are SERIOUS. They asked me several times if they hurried, to mobilize the materials, could we work with them before Idinda. I told them we already made a commitment to Idinda, but the reason for such an early meeting is to prepare them so that as soon as Idinda finishes, we can start their well. I hope to go back next Saturday with Herbet to select a site so they can also begin mobilizing materials.
5. Heavy rains interrupted the meeting, but people crammed into the host's house and waited for the torrential rains to subside to elect the Water User Committee. None of the elected members have phones, but Banuli is more than willing to help with the project, so I will work through him.
6. I'm really impressed by Banuli. He is very respected in the community, but he is not really that well off. He lives in one or two rooms at the Busalmu Trading Center. Banuli truly seems like a people's person. He told me he has been elected to his local government position, I think the counselor, uncontested four times straight. He even continued to hand out the scholastic materials Dave brought over as we were leaving. I told him that as we run out of JIDDECO villages for shallow wells, we could use his help in identifying new villages lacking safe water that will be willing to dig, especially if they are as responsive as Kigulamomukidozi.

Pineapples/Fruit Drying

Click here to read the Wikipedia article on Pineapples!

The exposure visit to the fruit-drying project, Patience Pays, in Kayunga went really well. I'll attach what was actually spent on the trip. Miti from the Jinja office came and took loads of video and pictures. I also took some pictures, which I'll send as well. Everyone seemed really interested in the project. Margaret gave a really good speech about being tired of false promises. She urged all members to commit to improving their livelihoods and take advantage of the resources JIDDECO and UVP are providing. Before we left, Miti walked them through establishing a work plan, which involves them going home and sharing the information they learned as well as preparing their land.

The farmers weren't able to see the drying in action. Charles and Jane are expanding their project. They are giving dryers to pineapple farmers under an agreement that the dried fruit produced will be sold to Patience Pays for 3,000/kilo. Then Charles and Jane take it to Jinja and sell at 5,000/kilo.

Matt with a baby pineapple

# Charles is willing to help us find the 150,000 suckers we are proposing to start with. I told him to wait as I wanted to hear from Soleil first. He asked for a 20,000/= per day allowance for his expertise in selecting suckers, which is reasonable. His transport will be covered as he will just move with the vehicle that is hired. He warned against just using the farmers to select the suckers as they may pick their worst ones and keep the best suckers.
# Charles told me that the cheapest suckers go is 20/= and the most expensive ones are 35/=. I revised the cost-benefit analysis for 35/= a sucker just to be safe.

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