AWARE Uganda - a women's NGO in north-east Uganda on the border of Southern Sudan and Kenya - was founded more than 25 years ago.
The women acquired various seeds which included fruit trees such as mangoes, orange, guava, jackfruit, tangarines, passion fruit, pawpaw, and they acquired land of about 10,000 square metres.
The women's group planted the seeds. A few of the seedlings survived and grew into trees. However, in the semi-desert environment of Kaabong, it is a constant struggle to keep the trees alive and productive.
With minimal outside help or agricultural assistance, the women have managed to keep some of the trees alive and have persisited in planting further seedlings.
Safe World founder, Chris Crowstaff, visited the orchard in the summer of 2009. At the time there had been no rain for 2 years. Even the previously productive trees had stopped giving fruit, apart from a few Guavas.
AWARE Uganda founder, Grace Loumo, remembered how - in previous years - the orchard had supplied much-needed fruit, especially oranges, to the local hospital, as well as meeting the needs of AWARE members and their families. But now all the orange trees were barren.
The women have to walk about 2 kilometres to collect water for the trees, especially during the dry season. The dry season lasts for seven months and sometimes longer, since Karamoja only experiences one rainy season a year at the most. Some years there is no rain. The women and men dig the sand in the river-bed for water for the orchard.
Fruit is so scarce in Kaabong that, when the few fruits ripen there is stiff competition from the people and animals in the neighbourhood and much of the fruit disappears before the women and children could harvest it.
Kaabong is still primarily a warrior region. The warrior mindset, together with abject poverty, means that valuable commodities need to be carefully secured and guarded.
There is often little or no fruit in the shops in Kaabong and when fruit is brought in from elsewhere it is prohibitively expensive for the majority of the community. And yet fruit provides life-saving nutrients in such an arid environment.
The members of AWARE Uganda appeal for help to drill a bore hole in the orchard, provide irrigation pipes and a storage facility for water, and seed funding to purchase fertilizers and pay for security guards' wages and a fence to protect the fruits.
This will give the fruit trees the best possible chance and will help to improve the health of the women and children of AWARE Uganda considerably, in addition to helping the members to resume a small-scale fruit-selling industry.
Project target is £11,000.
93% of the target amount will go to AWARE Uganda towards the cost of bore hole, irrigation equipment, storage tank, fertilizers, secure fencing and gates and security gards.
7% will go towards cost of monetary transfer and administration costs of The Safe World International Foundation.
AWARE UGANDA (Action for women and Awakening in Rural Environment) was formed in 1989 by a group of local rural women of Kaabong District in Karamoja region, a semi-desert region in the North East of Uganda, bordering South Sudan and Kenya.
More than 27 million out of a population of 32 million people live in rural Uganda, the majority of whom have not been shielded from the harsh realities of poverty.
Lack of access to water and sanitation is already exposing rural women…