As cases of malnutrition and obesity continue to increase in Uganda, Ugandans have been urged to set up backyard vegetable gardens.
Addressing the media on Sunday, September 4 during a visit to Majji II settlement in Adjumani district, Mariam Akiror, the Advocacy and Communication Coordinator for Action Against Hunger, said the best way Ugandans can fight malnutrition, especially during challenging economic times is to set up the back yard gardens at their home.
“One doesn’t need a big piece of land for him or her to start a backyard garden. You can even use the old sack, buckets, or old containers that are no longer in use. We need to start eating fresh rich organic foods from the garden so that we can fight malnutrition,” Akiror said.
She said most of the food that we eat is non-nutritious but people eat it because they have to live thus an increase in the cases of malnutrition in the country.
According to the nutrition national statistics, a third of the children in Uganda are stunted, approximately 5% lost weight, 10% are underweight and almost half of them (Children) in Uganda have anemia.
She noted that much of the food that we buy from the market isn’t clean and unhealthy because the farmers apply chemicals to them while still in the garden, more non-organic manure to them which has caused harm than good to the human body.
Akiror said through the partnership with the Local government Minister Raphael Magyezi, Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), they started an advocacy campaign in various refugee settlements and they have urged the host communities and refugees to take up the communal production of nutritious food crops so as to address the food scarcity and the increasing malnutrition cases
She said they are providing the refugees and the host communities with free nutritious seedlings, vitamin A maize, and iron-rich beans among others. In return, communities have to only off land where the crops are to be planted and take care of them.
Akiror appealed to Uganda to also do away with tinned and fatty foods because these have also increased the cases of obesity in the country.