Recently Henry, Kibo Group’s country director in Uganda, sent this report about a recent visit to Butamoga Village.
Yesterday I visited Butamoga Village where Harriet is currently leading our stove program. I wanted to meet the community members and see what Harriet has been working on for the last few months.
We met Jennifer, the chairperson of the women’s group, who took us around and showed us the stoves the women have made so far in their homes. The community is very appreciative of Kibo. I could tell they were eager and that they wanted to do more to improve their community.
The stoves were beautiful, and in fact some of them looked like models or pieces of art! The Women’s Group here is very committed, and they assist one another so the stoves will be built in each member’s home. So far they have 27 stoves completed. We are very proud of Stove Program leaders — Harriet, Jesika and Tape — who have tirelessly worked with this group.
We also had a chance to watch one group of women build a stove from scratch. It was neat to watch Jesika and Tape make sure the women understood the process. Harriet was able to sit back and watch which is a testament to the good job Ida and Harriet have done helping train others to lead the stove program.
The women stated that they can now multitask by cooking while working in their gardens. In addition, we talked to a lady who said that when she used the old open-fire stove, the amount of wood she had in her kitchen would only last for two weeks, but with the new stove, the same amount of wood will last for a month and a half.
Part of the lessons that Harriet teaches women is to keep the kitchens clean. Most homes have extended cleanliness outside the kitchens, and in some homes they are already constructing dish racks, building bathrooms or building toilets.
While the stove program has really taken off so well in this village, there are still many other needs the community can come together to address. One issue is access to clean water, which I discovered when I noticed that all the all the women were wearing gomesi. This is a very special dress for special occasions, and you would not expect women to wear them while building stoves. In our meeting, I asked what the special occasion was since all the women had their gomesi on. They said that it was not a special occasion, but that almost all their clothes were dirty. The rain took too long to come back, and the little water they get from the swamp is better used for drinking than washing clothes.
Jennifer talked of how many kids have died of diarrhea, typhoid and other diseases caused by dirty water. Death has become a normal thing in this village, and she talked about it like it was a very casual thing. The dirty swamp water is all they have to drink.
We thank you all for everything you do for Kibo to reach those who are still in need here in the Busoga region of Uganda.
Be blessed and have a good evening,