In the past few decades, rural areas of developing countries have undergone rapid economic and social changes. These changes are often accompanied by a significant reduction in the availability and variety of nutritious foods available to people living in rural communities. ‘Nutrition’ is a basic human need, it is essential to all of our bodily functions and without it we die. The health consequences of a poor diet are well documented by various actors in Uganda and Beyond.
Rural Ugandan children are facing an increased risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders. During most of WDF’s Community meetings that are always aimed at investigating whether the gardening hobby of rural women and children can be used to improve their eating habits and physical activity levels in order to reduce their health risks.
In response to this increasing prevalence of NCDs among youthful populations, Wilmat Development Foundation through the Farm2Earn program embarked on providing free vegetable seeds accompanied with skilling the elderly and mothers on how to respond to the ever increasing malnutrition cases in the villages of Kigandho and Rusese, Kasese district, Western Uganda to adopt and invest in owning at least a small family backyard garden as a way to improve household nutrition through encouraging healthy dietary behaviors and expanding access to nutritious foods.
“Singakiwula emboka erilwa ekiro natandhika erilima emboka yayi okya’butaalha bwaayi” – Ms. Makaria, Resident of Kighando Cell, Bwera
It is against this background that WDF has invested much time towards the improvement of people’s nutrition and health as an important issue to consider, since it doesn’t only have direct impacts on the individual but also has a profound effect on society as a whole.
“We should note that not having enough nutrients during one’s growth can lead to permanent damage to both physical and mental development which can be observed in children with poor diets in our own neighborhood. I am so excited that we are seeing a lot of great change in the lives of those empowered and have taken the initiative of establishing their own small gardens. The smile I have is to always see the fruits of our hands being put into good use by those who need it the most.” – Mr. Matte Jockas, ED – WDF
Therefore, getting people interested in Backyard gardening so that they learn how to grow their own nutritious home based food that will help to improve the quality of life at household level.