Communities in Kasese continue to thrive having adopted nutrition-sensitive agriculture

Woman laughing

Communities supported by the SN4A project in Kasese continued to thrive despite the lockdown

Biira Regina is a 45-year-old resident of Lhulhwalhwa II and a widow with a family of 12 people, 7 of whom are children. She is also a beneficiary of the Sustainable Nutrition for All (SN4A) project nutrition-sensitive agriculture campaign. SN4A has been championing for adoption of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and dietary diversity at household level. To ensure sustainability and scalability, the project worked with and through local government structures to promote the growing of nutrient-rich foods and keeping of small animals for protein; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices within the communities. These efforts were tested during the lockdown.

Getting pandemic-ready

In Kasese District, where Regina lives, many households faced challenges accessing nutritious foods as a result of heavy rains that caused flooding and government restrictions due to COVID-19. As a result, food became scarce and prices sky-rocketed. This was not the case in Lhulhwalhwa II, Regina’s village and other SN4A-supported villages. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, households in Lhulhwalhwa II had already adopted good nutrition, WASH and production practices. In her village of 282 households, all the households have a toilet, 82% have a handwashing facility, 85% have a vegetable garden and 95% have fruit trees.

Regina harvests vegetables from her kitchen garden

Regina harvests vegetables from her kitchen garden

In March 2020, when the SN4A team conducted a rapid assessment to evaluate the impact of the closure of food markets due to government restrictions, they found that 38 (86%) out of 44 villages supported by SN4A project in Kasese were thriving and coping easily despite the lockdown. Regina’s village - Lhulhwalhwa II was one of them. Regina and her village mates were well-prepared. They had already adopted nutrition sensitive agriculture, growing their own diverse and nutritious foods.

Three meals a day

For Regina’s family of 12 the frequency of their meals remained the same, three meals a day. A visit to her home explained why. Regina’s garden is vibrant with all kinds of leafy vegetables (dodo, African egg plants, egg plants and spinach). She also has a number of fruit trees (mangoes, avocado and paw-paws) and many small animals (chickens reared for eggs and pigs for meat).

Today, the health of Regina, her children and her grandchildren remains strong, thanks to the work of the SN4A project and Kasese District Local government.