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VIVA team visits projects in Uganda and Tanzania

A VIVA team recently visited our major projects in Uganda and Tanzania to get updates on their progress.

First stop on the tour was Uganda. Last autumn, VIVA initiated this major project in eastern Uganda with the aid of significant funding from Irish Aid. Over €80,000 has been committed over the next three years to the Koilei Amora Ican Animal Traction Project. One hundred and twenty eight families will be supported with the distribution of draft oxen, ploughs and carts. Farmers will also be given grass seeds, vegetable seeds, tools and appropriate training. The families engage mostly in subsistence farming that unfortunately does not provide sufficient income or produce to maintain their large families. This has resulted in malnutrition (especially in children) and early school-leaving which leads to illiteracy, unemployment and early marriages.

Using hand hoes it can take an average household up to 15 days to dig an acre of ground in preparation for crop planting. This obviously reduces the acreage under crops. However, with the introduction of oxen and ploughs, farmers will be able to plough and plant large pieces of land in a short time.

While in Uganda, the VIVA team attended a handover ceremony for 64 oxen and 16 ploughs to the first batch of families to benefit from the project.

This project is being managed by VIVA's partner, Heifer Uganda.

For a selection of photos from the trip check out the slideshow below (click on 'captions' icon to read captions):

Next stop was Arusha in Tanzania, where our Tanzanian partner, Heifer Tanzania, is training 90 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) to provide basic animal healthcare to 100 villages around Arusha and Kilimanjaro. This model of village-based CAHWs (who are themselves livestock keepers and are nominated by their fellow farmers) ensures a low-cost and sustainable rural veterinary service for the region. All those who complete the required training are given a veterinary toolkit and a bicycle.

For a selection of photos from the trip check out the slideshow below (click on 'captions' icon to read captions):

While in Tanzania, the VIVA team attended a ceremony at Tengera Agriculture College at which the first 30 CAHWs trained under the scheme graduated. They were also presented with basic equipment kits and bicycles to facilitate their work.