Want to learn more about child malnutrition in Uganda?
Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
- Life expectancy: 49
- Probability at birth of not surviving until age 40: 31.4%
- Under-5 mortality rate: 130 in 1,000 live births
- Percentage of HIV-positive adults: 5.4%
- Children underweight for their age: 20%
- In East Africa, underweight prevalence is predicted to be 25% higher in 2015 than it was in 1990.
- Uganda has the 3rd highest rate of malaria deaths in the world.
- In 2007, there were 47,000 reported deaths from Malaria (with likely double that or more unreported)
- Percentage of adults with "low educational attainment" (as defined by the Human Development Index): 93.5%
- Adult illiteracy rate: 26.4%
- Population living under $1.25 a day: 51.5%
- Population living under $2 a day: 75.6%
- Government expenditure on health care per capita: $39
- Urban share of Uganda's population: 11 - 13%
- Total fertility rate: 6.4
- When a Ugandan is explaining a direction or location, instead of pointing with their hand they often purse their lips out towards the direction.
- Many Lusoga words repeat themselves. For instance, "wala wala" means "far away," "mpola mpola means "slowly," and "kumpi kumpi" means "close by."
- Mangos currently cost 5 cents each
- Women are not meant to eat eggs, in Basoga culture, lest the forefathers curse us.
- There are at least half a dozen types of banana commonly grown, likely more, each with their own name and purpose: bagoya, ndizi, gonja, matoke, etc.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
One of the things that I hate and love about Uganda is the dust. Ugandan earth is a dark red-brown, and so rust-colored dust lays over the villages in like a thin, almost-invisible cloak, billows up behind motorcycles and mini-buses on long dirt roads that run through the countryside like red rivers, sticks to your face and your arms and your clothes, gets in your food and your nose and your bed-sheets and your hair. It’s incessant, softly permanent, like the heat or the poverty of the place, patiently waiting for you to accept it, to resign yourself to it, and eventually to love it.
And you do – you learn to enjoy washing your hands and watching the water run off red, clear as you become clean. You learn to wear dark colors when your ride motorcycles, and to laugh at yourself and your clothes when you forget and come back dyed dark reddy-brown. You learn to sweep the floors during phone conversation, when you’re frustrated or thinking, while your water is boiling for tea, and to enjoy the satisfaction of that smooth, clean, tidy look that will last for approximately 3 hours before the next layer of dust rolls in. You learn to shower only at the very end of the day, when it's grown cool outside and you’re done with all your outdoor activities for the day, when you can sit afterwards inside your home feeling deliciously smooth and cool and clean all over.
You learn to live with the dust in Uganda, and you learn to love it, to understand it like a language or a lifestyle or a people. And when you return home to the United States, or to England, or to Canada, you’ll find that you miss the dust, and through that you’ll miss the country and the lifestyle and the language and the people. You’ll remember Uganda, and when you do, you’ll envision a long red road, twisting across a scrubby green landscape of bushes and trees and occasional thatch-roofed huts of red-brown mud, and the blue sky above like an expansive bubble, and the dust rising from little dirt paths and the long red road, rising like a breath, hovering, waiting, rising from the earth like a spirit, like the future, like the stained-red soul of the country, Uganda.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Godfrey: My great grandfather started producing traditional clay pots in the 1930s. Knowledge was passed down to my father and he taught me how to make clay pots. I started making clay pots at 12 years of age and I am now teaching my son, Ronald, who is 10 years old.
UVP: Has the pottery business changed since when your father started making pots?
Godfrey: When I started making clay pots with my father, we made enough money through sales in surrounding rural areas. Since then, things like firewood costs have increased and there is no longer consistent demand for clay pots from nearby rural villages and towns. With more people moving to cities, we started to sell in cities but high transport costs, competition from other potters, and the difficulty working with middlemen limit what we can sell. Our group resorted to moving our products into towns on bicycles but, whenever we cannot find buyers, we are forced sell our pots at a loss or transport them back to our village.
UVP: Why did you enroll in UVP's Modified Clay Pot Project and how has it impacted your business?
Godfrey: I was approached with the idea of making clay pots with taps for safer drinking water and discussed it with the members of my local pottery cooperative. After making samples for UVP, my group produced 100 modified clay pots as our first order for UVP. The Mod-Pots I make for UVP are guaranteed to be sold because I get paid in advance, and I don't need to worry about finding customers or transporting the products to where they are wanted. This gives me more time to focus on producing pots. For every modified clay pot I make, I get 50% more money than from molding a traditional clay pot. I have appreciated the new sense of security and income; producing Mod-Pots for UVP will help pay for my three children's' school costs and help expand my business.