The ‘Pearl of Africa’, Uganda is renowned for its natural beauty. The country is slightly smaller than the UK: 236,000 sq km to 245,000 sq km.
The population is fewer: 35 million to the UK’s 64 million.
Twenty years of conflict between the Ugandan government and the armed militia group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) caused extreme suffering in the north as people fled their homes for crowded camps and were torn apart by the abduction of their children.
People have moved back to their homes, and some of our work involves helping them to get back on their feet again with seeds, tools and training.
Drought and the remoteness of the northernmost points – Karamoja in particular – have had an impact. Karamoja itself is the country’s poorest area, communities in this region are in the majority farmers and need water. Karamoja, in recent years has seen drought every two years.
Uganda should be commended for its huge success with reducing its rate of HIV infections, but complacency risks seeing the figures rise again.
CAFOD in Uganda
Our partner in the Karamoja region of the country, Caritas Moroto has been supporting people in this particularly drought-prone region to have greater access to water. Sisto Lomonyang is a catechist for a small parish there. He has seen the impact of droughts in the region on his study group. Thanks to Caritas Moroto, the pump near his parish has been mended, so now the community has water.
“When the pump broke, people couldn’t wash. They didn’t want to come to catechism because they weren’t able to bathe. I know people wanted to practise their faith, but they couldn’t.”
“I am very grateful to CAFOD for fixing out water pump. We are now able to get water whenever we want and we can bathe and get water to feed the animals.
“Because we have a borehole, people can wash their clothes and are happy to come for instruction now.”