By Denis Turyahebwa
Kampala: Ndejje University in collaboration with Christian Services International yesterday donated goodies worth millions and extended an empowerment program to the locals of Nakawungu LCI in Semuto Subcounty, Nakaseke district where hundreds were left grateful for the initiative innovated by the University.
The program was spearheaded by the Vice-chancellor of Ndejje University professor Eriabu Lugujjo and the and PEWOSA’s coordinator and savings mobilizer Mr.Andrew Ziiwa who was the chief guest.
The locals were empowered with a couple of projects which involve briquettes making which is aimed at curbing the dependence on charcoal dust as the main feedstock and hoping to reduce logistical expenses as well.
According to Professor Lugujjo, the project incorporates a social/community component that allows women, youth and disadvantaged persons to be skilled and economically empowered.
“As a way of ensuring continuity, five groups (Kokoggwanga group, clean hands community group, Nakawungu Group A, B and C) were trained in the complete briquette value chain in Semuto, Kapeeka and Nakaseke regions and the briquettes produced by these communities will be sold and in turn be a source of livelihood for the communities.”
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The passionate professor added that the support to communities will act as a credit fund that allows the communities to benefit while being enabled in terms of skills/knowledge dissemination and boosting livelihoods.
Meanwhile, TheSpy Uganda has learnt that the market for these briquettes has been created through a donation of six briquette cookstoves in secondary schools on Ndejje hill.
He commended the locals for dedicating their time to learn new technology which will help in climate conservation by saving the trees.
“A few people want to embrace change but when we approached your leaders, you showed great zeal to learn and that’s why we are here today to celebrate what we have achieved together and also learn more,” he noted before adding thus; ”Ndejje University has a ten years strategic plan which indicates collaborating and making partnerships with communities.”
On another hand, Mr Ziiwa of PEWOSA argued women to develop their area through projects like briquettes making and modern farming training that the University is extending to them.
He drew some light on the establishment of PEWOSA saying that it was started to empower women because it considered them innovative, hardworking and honest and wanted to bring those qualities.
”You all know what PEWOSA is, so we started with an aim of empowering communities and here we have got a brother, Ndejje University who has the same vision and that’s why we happily embraced this project of briquette making started by the University and we promise a long partnership with them,” said Mr.Andrew Ziiwa.
Godfrey Kaliisa one of the trainees said the skills acquired will help him expand his income to sustain his family adding that the machines they have received will increase their productivity because they have been using hands which takes a lot of time and produces less.
Another beneficiary Ms.Justine Nayiga who is a single mother was grateful for the skills given to her saying she will use them to make briquette to get school fees for her children and also make some savings to help her cope up with life.
The event ended with the commissioning and officially handing over the machines donated to the community groups and launching the centre for community outreach and partnerships.