Kitchen Gardens Fight Malnutrition in Tooro

Kitchen Gardens Uganda
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In Tooro Sub-region, an increasing number of households in Fort Portal City and Kabarole District are taking steps to address the problem of malnutrition, which has become a significant concern. The residents are planting various food crops, especially vegetables, in their yards after health experts expressed worry about high malnutrition rates among children under 5 years old in the area.

According to the latest Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 40.6 percent of children below five years in the sub-region are stunted, 2.4 percent suffer from wasting, and 10.3 percent are born with low birth weight. Additionally, anaemia affects 45 percent of children under five and 29.4 percent of women of reproductive age.

To tackle this malnutrition crisis, nutritionists are recommending the cultivation of vegetables, which are rich in essential minerals and vitamins vital for children’s growth. Many households in North Division, Fort Portal City, and other sub-counties in Kabarole have established kitchen gardens to grow vegetables like Sukuma wiki, eggplants, cabbages, peas, groundnuts, tomatoes, and onions.

Residents like Ms. Ester Kamalha have taken the initiative to mobilize mothers from different villages to establish kitchen gardens in their homes. They have received training and support from organizations like Thrive for Good.

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The benefits of these kitchen gardens are evident, as families no longer solely rely on markets for their food, gaining better control over their diets. Thrive for Good has provided seedlings and established community seedbed gardens to ensure that everyone has access to the resources needed for kitchen gardening.

Kitchen gardens have changed people’s perceptions about vegetables and greens, showing that they are suitable for everyone. Community facilitators like Mr. Rauben Kikora Iswanga emphasize that community sensitization is helping many households eradicate malnutrition.

To ensure continuous water supply for their kitchen gardens, communities are seeking funding to acquire an irrigation kit. Nutritionists like Mr. Banard Bwambale also stress the importance of proper child feeding, adequate nutrition for pregnant mothers, good cooking habits, food preservation methods, safe use of chemicals, and responsible food handling to comprehensively address malnutrition.

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