Malnutrition Prevention

1970s and 1980’sUgandawent through dictatorial turmoil that resulted into wars, and HIV/AIDS epidemic, left many families suffering, while the productive youth flocked into the city for seeking green pastures. The elderly single-handedly remained in the villages, being challenged by lack of productive labour force.

Global climate change has devastated most of Africa, includingUganda. Families are experiencing food shortages. Households are worst hit, in rural areas, as they sell off most of their harvest leaving no reserve for the family; this is because they have to meet other basic necessities of life.

 68% of the rural communities depend on agriculture, growing the same food crops for family consumption, regardless of nutritional needs. As the weather pattern changes, the lesson for us is that it is becomes extremely difficult to predict the pattern for each season.  Agriculture becomes very complex activity, as farmers are unable to predict the rains. To ensure that the family meets the required nutrition throughout the year, there is need to educate households in new farming techniques.

 Food price hikes might result into families rationing food to one meal a day. Families have to understand food value and nutrition; because the basic reason for eating is to provide the cells in our bodies with nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, dietary fiber water and minerals. It takes a mixture of food to have some or all these nutrients.

In preparation of a day’s meal, it is important to understand and balance food nutrients and value for a family’s meal and how these could be obtained should put into consideration. For example maize, millet, cassava all contains carbohydrates and yet some families serve all of them on the same menu. Mothers need to be educated on how to balance nutrition.

During this period of scarcity, one could plant vegetables like egg plants, cabbages, spinach, onions, carrots and others. These could be managed on small plots in the backyard, to supplement the levels of nutrition.

During the dry season, watering could be an alternative to obtain vegetables for the family throughout the year. Gunny bags filled with soil is a good method of gardening and family vegetable can be grown around the edges of the home.

Harvesting rain water is possible with minimal investment, by digging a sizeable pit, laid with a polythene sheet or acquiring a water tank incase of those living in the city. The Pit should be well covered and protected to avoid accidents, water harvesting cuts down watering costs.

Because of lacking productive initiatives to sustain families, rapid urbanization trends continue to result into rapid growth of urban poverty. Due to increasing food shortage life is very costly. Rationing food would most likely affect women, and children, leading to malnourishment and poor health.  Expectant mothers would doubly be affected.

Indigenous food storage facilities that could be an alternative for food storage are disappearing from communities,  i.e. local granaries and processing of food into powder form for later use is non existent as families not longer grow surplus food.

With the population ofUgandaexploding, urban migration will be on

the increase, therefore, the  Government and NGO’s inUganda needs to lay

strategies that can improve on Food Security for wealth citizens.

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About nviwoda

In a humble setting lies the story of the Ntulume Village Women's Development Association (NVIWODA). In June 1987 a group of women residing in Ntulume Village founded, Ntulume Village Women Development Association (NVIWODA).www.nviwoda.interconnection.org It is a legally registered woman NGO (Reg.S5914/404) and operates in ten districts of Uganda, the organization equips women with skills, networks and shares knowledge and information with twenty seven women community based groups. NVIWODA has todate empowered sustainable families in Uganda.
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