It seems that everywhere the caravan goes it stops traffic, the Trans African Caravan of Hope that is. We are in Mbarara, Uganda. Mbarara is another town in Western Uganda. When we arrive in this town we find that Youth Plus Policy Network has been waiting for us patiently.
A band, made up of youth from a primary school, played as they saw the branded bus approach. Shortly afterwards a procession began. The band led the way with caravanites walking to a beautiful symphony. The procession snaked its way to the Mbarara District Farmers Association, MBADIFA offices through traffic that is punctuated by dashing boda bodas,motor cycles. They seem to be a preferred means of transport here. While the Caravan bus drives on, some of us follow behind it. What an attention grabber.
We get to MBADIFA offices where a short ceremony is held. During the Ceremony, Turyaramya Moses, President of MBADIFA commended the caravan effort of raising awareness. He chorused most of previous speakers in other countries by urging that farmers get taken care of. Adding, ‘The presence of food and income insecurity has negative results which include famine, starvation and death.’ He also noted that when farmers fail, they face steep charges as they are not able to pay up loans they take to progress.In turn, the realization of Millenium Development Goals is slowed down.
Tumusiime Fredrick, President of Mbarara Municipal Development Forum urged that other than the west paying up because of what industrialization has done, the local residents needed to deal with the issue of garbage accumulation. He encouraged the crowd to work with local officials to eradicate litter.
That note was picked up by Geoffrey Twine Matsiko of Mwafrica Basic Concerns who encouraged Ugandans to work towards a ‘litter-less society.’
To crown the event, Mrs Teo Kataratambi, a woman farmer from Mbarara urged the group to deal with ‘Kavera’ which translated means Polythene bag.She urged the group going to South Africa to encourage groups to adapt better technologies for better farming.