Ugandan NGO’s self-help strategy

By Richard Kirya Itakali

Safe Neighbourhood Foundation (SNF) is a non-governmental organisation working in Budaka district, in eastern Uganda.  The population is made up of mainly peasant farming communities doing subsistence farming. The key issues affecting them are food and water shortage. The climatic conditions are harsh with droughts that last three to four months. Rainfall is too low to produce enough crops for household food security and monetary income.

Budaka is about 180 kilometres from Kampala, the capital city. SNF has been working in the district since 2007. It was formed by local and indigenous people and focuses on a participatory approach where members form groups for development and self-help activities.

It provides training in modern farming methods for improved yields and sustainable food security, particularly kitchen gardening; poultry farming; water and sanitation, home hygiene, and in the establishment and running of Village Savings and Loan Associations. Other activities include rehabilitating boreholes for improved access to clean water; demonstrating toilet construction; and promoting the conservation of trees by encouraging tree planting and the use  of more efficient wood-burning stoves.

SNF has nine full-time staff involved in management and field operations, two professional volunteers and 20 community volunteers.


Richard Kirya Itakali (safeneighbour.budaka@gmail.com) is executive director of SNF (www.safeneighbourhood.org).

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