The West Nile Region comprises of 9 unique districts with a diversity in history, people, and culture. Click the links to learn more about the individual districts.
West Nile is fast becoming a tourist destination in East Africa, offering visitors a myriad of exploration and relaxation sites.
ADJUMANI. Famers in Adjumani district have received three new tractors under operation wealth creation (OWC) program.
ARUA. Livestock farmers in Uriama sub-county, Arua district have been advised to closely monitor their animals and guard them against feeding on raw cassava, its peelings and leaves...................
When Mr Kefa Ondoma stubbornly abandoned school at P.6 in 1997, he had no idea where he would end up.
ZOMBO. Atyak sub county local government has scratched from its scarce resourced to organize a learning trip for its farmers to enable them acquire basic knowledge specifically in tea growing.
KOBOKO. The Malaysian Bionas international company and Bionas East Africa has officially launched the construction of Jatropha Agro politan business project in Koboko district.
ZOMBO. The community empowerment for rural development (CEFORD) has launched a four-year youth educational initiative in business oriented farming dubbed 'Aradu Pi fur' project in Zombo district.
ZOMBO. Until early the 2000s, Paidha town council in Zombo district was a lively town. Its life force was the Okoro Growers coffee processing plant located at Ayuda, about 1km west of the town.
ZOMBO.Over 50 Coffee nursery operators from Zombo and Nebbi districts have petitioned President Museveni over nonpayment of coffee seedlings they supplied in the financial year 2018/2019.
ARUA. A new parasitic witch weed that presents features similar to the invasive Japanese dodder also known as the cuscuta japonica is causing nuisance in farms in Arua and Maracha districts.
PAKWACH. Pakwach district leaders have expressed worry over the continued delay to kick-start the multibillion irrigation scheme in Wadelai Sub County.
NEBBI. The Nebbi district chairman Mr Emanuel Orombi has told the district production department to go slow on promoting the growth of cashew nuts in the district.
A constant squawk of ducks startles to fill the home as stocky 52-year-old Zachariah Bashir wearing an Islamic cap stares in amazement.
For 21 years, Ismail Tibo depended on sale of Teak seedlings to fend for his family.
KOBOKO. Affter giving headaches to farmers across Uganda in 2017, the armyworm infestation has already been detected in Koboko District in West Nile region of Uganda, ravaging maize plantations.
ZOMBO. Farmers in Nyapea sub-county, Zombo district are counting losses after a heavy rain characterized by hailstones devastated their fields destroying hundreds of acres of crops and....
ZOMBO. Coffee farmers in Zombo and parts of Nebbi district have all the reason to smile after prominent coffee buying and processing companies, Kawacom Limited...
PAKWACH. The Pakwach district production officer has advised farmers to maximally utilise the current rains to plant crops that can yield faster in order to increase food production.
MOYO. Local leaders of Moyo district have warned farmers against sale of heifers received under the operation wealth creation (OWC) program.
ZOMBO. Zombo district is registering significant decline in new infections of foot and mouth disease which ravaged the district late last month, officials have revealed.
Many farmers in Koboko district viewed commercial coffee production with indignation but not Ramadan Dafala.
KOBOKO. The construction of a Jatropha agro-politan business cluster set to be the maiden project of the Uganda green economy development initiative will start in Koboko district next month.
KOBOKO. When Mr John Ededria, 41, a self-taught bicycle mechanic turned to fish farming in 2016, he thought he would make an easy breakthrough.
KOBOKO. The members of the Koboko district council, civil servants, sub-county officials and their relatives were the majority beneficiaries of last year’s cattle restocking programme............
PAKWACH. Leaders in Panyango sub-county, Pakwach district are worried about the alarming rate of laziness and idleness among the youth, an act they say is threatening food security in the....
PAKWACH. The ministry of Agriculture, animal industries and fisheries has lifted a ban on the slaughter and movement of cattle in the district.
MOYO. Members of Mt Otze Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) want the high interest rate on agricultural loan set by the board of directors of the organization reduced.
ARUA. President Yoweri Museveni has urged the people of the West Nile region to embrace commercial farming in a bid to fight poverty and the rampant unemployment.
NEBBI. Livestock farmers in Nebbi district have been urged to adopt modern skills and practices of animal rearing for better and fruitful results.
ZOMBO: Situated about 2km from Zombo district headquarters as you head towards Arua district along the Nebbi-Paidha-Arua road is entailing intricate historical and cultural importance to the Alur.
Mr Alfred Obedmoth has been Arua district’s leading fish farmer since 2008. His farm is an elaborate set up of ten large fish ponds and nine nursery ponds and holding tanks.
ARUA. Odromachaku is a border market located in Ayivuni Sub County where many border residents earn their living through cross border business.
ZOMBO. In its quest to foster coffee quality to meet international standards and widen the market base, Okoro coffee growers' cooperative union has installed at least two wet mills....
ADJUMANI. Self Help Africa (SHA), a nongovernmental organization in partnership with Harvest Plus is implementing the sustainable livelihoods and inclusive markets program in Adjumani.....
PAKWACH: A total of 110 farmer groups in the rural sub-counties of Pakwach district are set to benefit from the Northern Uganda Resilient Initiative (NURI) program.
Paidha town in Zombo district is one of the fastest growing towns in West Nile region.
PAKWACH.Farmers neighbouring the Andibo dam in Panyango sub-county, Pakwach district are reaping big from growing marketable produce through drip irrigation.
ZOMBO. Police and other security bodies in Zombo have issued security guidelines ahead of the lucrative coffee season.
NEBBI. Coffee is one of Uganda's most lucrative export yet West Nile region, which has the potential to grow the crop has remained among the lowest performing production areas in the country.
ZOMBO. Zombo district youth council and selected farmers have received 46 heads of dairy cattle in fulfillment of the presidential pledge and initiative for poverty eradication.
ARUA. President Yoweri Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda has promised to start a fish farming project with the youths of West Nile region along the Nile valley.
ARUA. Mr Zoltan Kalman, the Hungarian permanent representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture agencies says agriculture is extremely important in the district and Uganda.
ARUA. Anjelina Abuyu, 10, is a Primary 2 (P2) pupil and a resident of Omugo 4 village in Rhino Camp refugee settlement, Omugo sub-county in Arua district.Born to Mr Peter Ayan and.........
When Hajj Jabir Suleiman, 71, began planting trees in 1982 his peers and neighbours laughed at him.
ARUA. At least 500 youths from Terego West constituency in Arua district have benefited from a supply of vegetable seeds worth 15 million Uganda shillings.
When the British colonial government established a demonstration fish pond in Abinyu village, the aim was to teach and inspire the community.
Although listed in the third schedule of the constitution as one of the 65 indigenous communities in Uganda as of February 1, 1926, the Lendu were a relatively unknown people.
ZOMBO. As the lucrative coffee season sets in, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has embarked on coffee quality enhancement campaign in Zombo and Nebbi districts in order to guarantee quality.
ZOMBO. Chia farmers in West Nile and Acholi sub-regions in Northern Uganda have expressed worry over the uncertain market for their produce.
MARACHA. The establishment of rice huller machines at Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) boarder markets in Maracha district to automate the process of removing the chaff of rice is motivating farmers on both sides to engage in commercial production.“We used to hull the husk of rice in Ariwara market located over 30km inside DRC but the establishment of the machines in Odramacaku, Osidribiku and Malaba boarder markets has now relieved farmers in Maracha, Koboko and Arua districts,” some farmers told West Nile Web in an interview on Tuesday.Ms Knight Driciru, a resident of Nyamia village in Oluvu sub-county, Maracha district acknowledged that production of rice has greatly changed the lives of farmers from subsistence to commercial level.She said the least portion of land used by a farmer for planting rice is an acre.Driciru noted that in a good season, a farmer may harvest at least 10 bags of rice from an acre of land.During the season of plenty, a basin of unprocessed rice costs shs18, 000 while a full sack containing seven basins is sold at shs126, 000.“But with the value addition to our produce courtesy of the rice huller machines in place, we now pocket over shs300,000 per bag which is double profit to us and so attractive,” Driciru narrated.She said the money got from the sales is used for feeding the family in areas where other food crops like cassava and beans yield poorly. Some people use the money for paying school fees, building and buying animals. Ms Rose Tiperu, another resident of Ayikuru village in Oluvu sub-county noted that the rice huller machines have significantly improved the quality of rice in the area compared to the traditional method of pounding using mortar and pestle.“The machines remove the husk and the bran layers, and produce an edible white rice kernel that is sufficiently milled free of impurities with minimum number of broken kernels,” Tiperu explained.Tiperu who harvested six bags of rice last year said children and adults like rice because it serves different purposes including meals of the day hence saving other food items like cassava and beans.Meanwhile Ms Gloria Eyotaru, a teacher at Galia primary school observed that the tradition of eating rice during big occasions no longer exists in the area.She called on farmers to consider minimizing the challenges in production like destruction by animals and poor weeding to achieve maximum benefits.She said they rent wet lands from people but if one uses appropriate techniques like planting rice in lines to allow sufficient weeding, high yields can be realized.According to Mr Amos Atiku, the Oluvu sub-county chairperson, the introduction of the machines has empowered farmers to earn better income from their good quality rice supplies to Arua town and DRC.“I call upon local investors to install more machines in the inland trading centres to reduce long distances to Osidribiku, Malaba and Odramacaku”, Atiku appealed.“We are now in the process of mobilizing youths to form groups in order to apply for youth loan for buying rice huller machines and establish them at Nyadria market so as to help our farmers,” Atiku stated.A Congolese national only identified as Mr Sederike, one of the three rice huller operators at Odramacaku market said they established the machine in the area to reduce the cost of transport incurred by the farmers from Uganda side to Ariwara market in DRC.Sederike said he normally removes the husk of a kilogram of rice at shs100 and during the season of plenty, he receives at least 20 bags of rice per day from farmers to be processed. A bag contains at least 100kg of rice.
A scorching afternoon in a rocky area of village nine of Zone two in Imvepi refugee settlement in Arua district, perhaps against all odds, there emerges 63-year-old Ms Jane Agaba with broad beaming style.
From a personal observation, our small trek in the scorching heat had saddened our faces a bit as we approached these random arrays of mainly grass thatched homes.
But that discomfort of the heat was at least ignored as grey-haired Agaba ushers us to what became her home ever since she fled to Uganda because of war in her country.
The rocky soils here would have ideally made any chances of agricultural activity near-impossible, but that in itself turns to be a blessing to Agaba and a host of other women as they take advantage of the ‘Mandela’ vegetable gardens to grow a variety of greens for their households and for sale.
“After I was trained, I started putting up nursery beds for onions and later growing on my small plot, I obtained a basin and half,” Agaba explains as she moves through her garden fenced with local materials.
Excited Ms Agaba welcomes the visitors into her home.
A stone-throw away from Agaba’s residence, we find Ms Mary Poni, in her late 20’s, she is particularly humorous explaining how the children and herself are now fat and healthy with the balanced diet made possible through the variety of green vegetables in her garden.
She interposes her ordeal to a hearty laughter before revealing that she did not only obtain shs60,000 but was able to buy school shoes for her two children currently enrolled in a secondary school.
Poni is quick to point that it had previously been difficult to obtain money in the settlements and worse with the dry and small plots allocated for settlement.
The Ayiki kitchen group
Beyond their individual home settings, a group of about 40 women in the same location have now teamed up to form a group, ‘the Ayiki kitchen garden group.’
Through a translator, we are told Ayiki means to “remind ourselves” whether this is about their plight or the war that brought them to Uganda. We are left guessing but the group less than two years is already making strides.
“The things we do may look small, but these things are helping us so much. We have now started a savings group with the ultimate aim of renting a bigger piece of land from the host population to expand our enterprise,” says Ms Lillias Onzia, the chairperson for the group.
Ms Jackline Amana, the group secretary appeals to well-wishers and organizations to support their cause through a financial boost to enable them achieve this target.
About the Mandela garden
“I developed the technology during my Diploma from Bukalasa agricultural college, we were told to use very little land and see how the crops will survive and that was during dry season,” Mr George Lukayi, a senior agronomist under Joint Aid Management (JAM), the organization that runs the gardens says.
“When I realised that my crops survived under very stressful conditions, I related it to Nelson Mandela who through years of imprisonment persevered,” Lupai added.
His explanation perhaps unsurprisingly was followed by a deafening laughter with the camp commandant later joking that Mr Lupai had strayed from science to politics.
Explaining the nitty-gritties of the garden set up and the variety of vegetables grown here, Lupai further said the site serves a very important purpose.
Mr Lupai explains how the Mandela garden is made. PHOTOS BY RIMILIAH AMANDU.
“Here we are serving two purposes; the training part and the supplementary feeding part. When we are done with training and demos, the produce we get is used to supply the kitchen for the new arrivals who are placed in at the reception centre for a period of time before their own land is allocated,” Lupai explained.
Through training at the demo site, over 3, 000 people have benefitted and are now practicing at their own homesteads.
To ensure fairly constant supply of vegetables through the hardest months of drought, Lupai says they did post-harvest handling to keep some of the excess produce to be used during the dry spell.
The JAM approach
Ms Ann Pretorius, the co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) JAM international during a visit to the settlement acknowledged that more needs to be done despite the tangible progress in the lives of the kitchen garden beneficiaries.
“I want our programs to keep expanding, I see that even as we keep touching communities, there is more that we could do in our core areas of nutrition, water and agriculture,” she said after a tour of JAM projects.
“Personally, the appreciation we have received makes us want to do more always, they welcome us and everybody says God bless you. I realise happiness doesn’t come from living in the palace but from changing tomorrow and we are grateful if we can be a vehicle carrying this message of hope,” Pretorius remarked.
Ms Amanda Koech Otieno, the JAM international Uganda program manager says the programs primarily target pregnant and lactating mothers and the vulnerable members of the society like widows, the disabled, child headed families and elders although men have also directly benefited from the trainings.
She says in line with the organizations’ expansion plan, the women groups will soon be trained to produce seeds that will in turn be sold to the organization.
The Imvepi settlement alone hosts over 64, 000 refugees, majority of them South Sudanese many of whom continue to live in dire conditions.
But for the 3, 000 that have benefited from the Mandela garden ‘magic’, the produce from the dry rocky land has put smiles on their faces.
Some of the beneficiaries pose in a photo with the donor
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