The Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda is one of the poorest areas in the world. Food security is the most insecure in the national comparison. Around 82 percent of the people live in absolute poverty and around 45 percent of the children receive only one meal a day. Ongoing climate change is increasingly leading to drought, dryness or flooding in the region. As a result, the threat of crop losses is significant, especially since there is only one harvest season.
Discrimination against women is still very common in Karamoja. Women often have poorer access to the labor market, less entitlement to own property, few decision-making rights in family planning and poorer access to food. Furthermore, violence against women is a major problem. According to a 2016 study, 54 percent of adolescent girls have already given birth by the age of 19. The risk of under-nourishment and developmental disabilities is considerably increased for these children.
To escape poverty and vulnerability, many children and adolescents seek to migrate to larger cities. In many cases, this migration takes place in an unsafe environment and their risk of becoming victims of trafficking is high. It is not uncommon for children, youth and women to find themselves in sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Together with our partner organization ECO, we carry out projects to support smallholder families in improving their living conditions and creating new perspectives.
In the farmer and saving associations, people work together to learn new knowledge and skills. They grow vegetables in demonstration gardens and plant new fruit trees. The program also includes setting up granaries to be better prepared for possible crop failures. New agricultural methods are being implemented to ensure that farming and harvesting are successful despite the effects of climate change. These include, for example, the use of drought-resistant crops or the introduction of crop rotation. Access to up-to-date weather forecasts will also be provided to farmers.
In addition to the knowledge on climate-adapted agriculture and nutrition, an expansion of income is also addressed. Beekeeping or nursery management are two of the possible new sources of income. By developing business plans, participants are prepared for successful entrepreneurial implementation. Saving together as a group makes it possible for them to give each other loans. These are used, for example, to start a business or to cover costs for schooling and health.
School clubs are established to engage with young people in the region. Students learn about family planning, sexual health and environmental protection, and are made aware of the risk of human trafficking. They deal with the topics in a creative way: music, dance and drama are used as methods and thereby help to strengthen the students in their role as multipliers. They actively distribute their newly acquired knowledge and sensitize their environment to the topics they have learned.
Committees against human trafficking
To create further outreach on the topic of human trafficking, media such as radio and TV are used. Talk shows, documentaries and reports inform people and draw their attention to the risk. Two newly established anti-trafficking committees monitor the region and report cases to the police and other actors. Local health teams are trained to provide information on sexual/reproductive health and family planning methods to communities. They also provide education on balanced nutrition and advocate for gender equity.
|Project||Improved livelihoods and food security for agro-pastoral communities in Nabilatuk and Napak districts: preventing human trafficking|
|Place/Region||Nabilatuk and Napak Distrikt, Karamoja Region|
|Partner||Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)|
|Target group||Vulnerable smallholder farmers, at risk of being trafficked , a total of 7,000 beneficiaries|
|Duration||Oktober 2019 – Dezember 2022|