Hundreds of mothers in Amuru district, some as young as 18 years have embarked on planting a variety of vegetables and other food crops in a move aimed at boosting nutrition levels in their homes and increasing food security.
Hundreds of mothers in Amuru district, some as young as 18 -years have embarked on planting a variety of vegetables and other food crops in a move aimed at boosting nutrition levels in their homes and increasing food security.
The women, armed with carrots, tomatoes, green paper, egg plants, onions seeds and more than 70 local heifers launched the battle against malnutrition after it emerged that most of the children in the area were malnourished.
Joe Okello, a Nutrition Focal Point person in the district said a survey conducted in April 2011 found that a child out of every one hundred children had severe malnutrition. Meanwhile moderate malnutrition stands at the rate of 4.5 percent. He described the situation as very serious adding that malnutrition affects the growth of the children in a community.
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The malnutrition status in the district has not improved much even though most families now have access to their land following an end to the two decades war that gripped the region.
A report by Action Against Hunger, an international organization involved in the fight against malnutrition says that the increase in malnutrition rate is due to increased vulnerability due to reduced food stocks and lack of basic conditions in return villages especially as people seek to settle in their villages.
Susan Alal, the manager for World Vision, Amuru Area Recovery project said they designed the project to improve food security for the vulnerable households through increased food production and increased nutritional status of children, mothers and lactating mothers.
Alal said hundreds of mothers have been trained and provided with vegetable seeds and local heifers that they could plant and milk to help their families get nutritious meals.
She said that the organization adjusted its intervention from emergency during the war to recovery as the former displaced persons seek to establish themselves in their homes. Alal added that the project worth 331,647 dollars will run for a year before it can be evaluated for a possible extension.
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The mothers involved in the program say they are now able to ensure that their families get the required nutrition levels by eating balanced diet. Alwoch Concy, a member of Pit Tek, one of the 30 women’s groups participating in the project said the initiative has provided a sigh of relief to the mothers.
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But it is not only the mothers who are celebrating. Some of the fathers have also joined in to appreciate the initiative. James Kilara, one of the men whose wife is involved in the project says that he has observed an improvement in the health of his family over the last six months.
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Reports by the World Health Organization indicate that malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths. The UN health agency lists lack of access to highly nutritious foods, poor feeding practices, such as inadequate breastfeeding, offering the wrong foods, and not ensuring that the child gets enough nutritious food as the causes of malnutrition.
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malnutrition in amuru district
world vision amuru area recovery project