KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
Every first Saturday of July in every year marks the United Nations Cooperatives Day at an international level. In Uganda, the National Celebrations were at Kyanamira Primary School Grounds and brought together various cooperatives, farmer group associations and business institutions from all over the country. KIHEFO was one of the organizations invited to participate in the Exhibition at the grounds, among other Institutions like Cooperative Unions, SACCOs, and Banking Institutions among others.
It was rather a bright Saturday that kicked off with a band marching around Kabale town before proceeding to the ceremonial grounds. Our KIHEFO team had breakfast at the Apartments with our partners from Child Family Health International(CFHI) UCLA,Mbarara Universty of Science and technology (MUST) and a number of other partners at 9:00 am. After the heavy breakfast from Patricia, we embarked on our journey to Kyanamira for the occasion. Truth be told, our tent had the smartest Exhibitors at the event because it attracted people’s attention from a distance. All the people in the tent were fully dressed in KIHEFO branded attire.
I remember when one of our clients exclaimed, “I recognised this tent from a distance because it is all white with smartly dressed staff. How do you guys do it?” This statement made Tinah Blush and he kept on smiling at her. At the exhibition, we displayed a Modern state of the art mobile rabbit cage, rabbit feeds, products from the KIHEFO Youth Media and Cultural Center and training manuals both in English and the local language Rukiga for commissioning. Inside the model cage was a doe with its 9 fryers (babies) and people were drilled on how a rabbit is able to contain itself in a cage without necessarily exposing it to harm. This kind of technology is the first of its kind in Uganda and the KIHEFO Rabbit Training Center is the lone recognised Rabbit training Center in the Whole country by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and cooperatives.
Besides the Model Cage were jerry cans of Rabbit Urine which is arguably the best pesticide and garden fertilizer that local farmers ought to acquire to attain better yields. From what I heard, with a rabbit, nothing can go wrong, thanks to Alphonse’s interaction with the various clients. looking after rabbits is easy as they feed on grass or vegetables that don’t necessarily need buying but can be planted by the farmer. According to Alphonse, the Rabbit Expert at the Training Center, the modern rabbit cage has a provision of harvesting urine compared to the traditional way where everything is put to waste.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who was the Chief Guest, took a tour around the different stalls at the exhibition checking the products and i could see how eager the KIHEFO Staff was to receive him. On his delegation was, Hon. Nandala Mafabi, Chairman of Bugisu Cooperative Union and the former leader of the opposition at the national parliament, the biggest in the country; Henry Banyenzaki state minister of finance with a couple of other ministers and members of parliament . On arrival at our tent, he was warmly welcomed by Favor Nicole Ayikoru , who handed him a bouquet of flowers, in the presence of Dr. Anguyo Geoffrey, our Executive Director and his Wife, Mrs. Namukisa Sylvia.
Dr. Anguyo Geoffrey briefed the Prime Minister and his delegation about what was being exhibited and how KIHEFO is using various projects like the Rabbit Project, among others to fight disease, poverty and ignorance in Kabale and Kigezi region using integrated sustainable and innovative approaches . He explained to them how the cage operates and how the dry manure and urine are collected , explaining that with a rabbit, there are various benefits. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda was mesmerized by this level of innovation and said it was his first time to see such a Rabbit Structure in his life. The prime Minister also commissioned the training manuals on Rabbit Keeping and encouraged Ugandans to adopt such innovative ideas and become empowered to start up income generating activities. He commended Dr. Anguyo for the work he is doing in empowering the people of the Kigezi Region. “I am the only Mukiga called Anguyo,” said doctor, with a bright smile and everyone laughed the day off with a bright smile.
Story by: Malagala Abdallah Hakim