A Sector 39 Permaculture Academy Site
Butaleja district is a low-lying area to the south of the eastern city of Mbale. It is a fertile area, with a rapidly growing population. There has been recent investment in large scale rice growing in the area, but otherwise it is typified by very small family plots growing the standard range of subsistence crops. Mount Elgon forms a significant part of its upper water catchment and deforestation in the mountains is causing landslides and erosion in the highlands and intermittent flooding in the lowlands.
Our project partner is Budumba is Zainab Nandi, originally born in the district, educated in Kampala and now a resident in the UK. Zainab completed a PDC with Sector 39 in Wales in 2019.
With thanks to Zainab we have access to a 6-acre plot and will be developing a demonstration and training centre that will be of value to, and directly address the needs of the community within Butaleja.
Paul Odiwour Ogola, from the PermoAfrica Centre in Homa Bay Kenya, was leading on some intense development work on the site in March 2020, when unfortunately he had to return to Kenya due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Paul is another Sector 39 PDC graduate and is experienced in setting up new sites and engaging the local community:
“For first they’re afraid to come and join me but me as the team leader I just think beyond the curtain and I started applying my knowledge focusing the permaculture principle one*, and i ended up winning the villagers and they start coming joining us both the adult and children, so now they’re understanding the center and they promised me if I went back to Uganda they will call the leader for agriculture to come and meet me Lastly I clear a good ground for the project.”
Paul Odiwour Ogola
*1st Principle in Permaculture = OBSERVE & INTERACT