04/2016. Volunteering at PELUM Uganda is worthwhile
BY LYDIA KAGOYA, Volunteer- PELUM Uganda
Posted: April 2016
Lydia Kagoya (2nd left) with some of the PELUM country secretariat staff members
It was in October 2015 when I became part of the PELUM Uganda team as a Volunteer in the Advocacy Department. The first day of my volunteership was amazing. I was warmly welcomed and oriented by all staff.
During that period, PELUM was organizing its celebrations to mark 20 years of existence which made the entire period very busy.This is when I experienced teamwork because everyone was looking towards the success of the different events which started with the press conference followed by tree planting, high level breakfast meeting on extension, the National indigenous food fair and finally the networking dinner. I took part in all the events. This was very tremendous for me since I was able to contribute to the success of the event.
Under the Advocacy Department, I have been able to interact with people of different people. I got to know more about land rights and cases of land grabbing in the country; citing out the two incidences of Namulonge and the Case of Amuru – Adjumani Boarder conflicts 2015 which left many dead and putting food security at stake.
I also got the opportunity to think through how private sector companies handle the issue of land governance and food security in the country. This came after attending a one week training on food security and land governance in Jinja District. Focus was placed on the Busoga region where sugarcane factories are planted every day without any regulations. This has led to limited food in households because farmers are resorting to growing sugarcane to supply markets than other food crops. This has resulted into high levels of food insecurity and Malnutrition in the region.
A call was made to the government and all the other concerned parties to regulate activities related to land use management in favor of food production since it’s a basic need for every ones survival. Today this is happening in the Busoga region but how about the tea production areas and the oil production Region. More needs to done in terms of land governance and food security.
I look forward to more learning opportunities beyond land rights that affect smallholder farmers in the country, exposure and more engagements in Advocacy that will greatly enhance my knowledge and understanding of Advocacy.