Uganda

In order to propose projects adapted to the needs of the communities, it is essential to understand the context in which they live. In our approach we take into account the local culture, the history of the country and the socio-economic context in which the beneficiaries live. Our close collaboration with local partners facilitates mutual understanding. This introduction to Uganda should give you some idea of the environment in which Omoana, its partners and beneficiaries work. 

Uganda in brief:
 
Form of state: Republic
President: Yoweri Museveni
Geography: East African country bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania
Capital: Kampala
Population: 44 million
Independence: 1962

 

 

A little history...
 
From 1894 to 1962, the country was officially recognised as a British protectorate. In the period following independence in 1962, Uganda enjoyed a good economic and social balance. However, in the 1970s to 1980s, the country faced a period of civil and military instability, under the consecutive dictatorships of Milton Obote and the notorious Idi Amin Dada. This resulted in the destruction of much infrastructure, particularly in the education and health sectors, and the death of several hundred thousand people.
 
The situation has improved considerably since President Yoweri Museveni took power in 1986. Despite a questionable reputation, it is clear that he has contributed and is still contributing to the social economic recovery of his country. However, inequalities are still very high and the law banning different political parties was only abolished in 2005.*
 
In addition, between 1986 and 2006, civil conflicts continued in the north of the country between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), whose main leaders are wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. With the objective of taking power to run the country according to the Ten Commandments of the Bible, the LRA has not hesitated to attack the civilian population, displacing 1.6 million people and kidnapping or killing tens of thousands of civilians, including some 60,000 children. The situation has stabilised since the truce signed in August 2006. People have left the IDP camps and returned to their villages. However, the LRA continues to commit abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. 
 
Geography
 
Uganda is an East African country crossed by the equator. It is divided into 80 districts and covers an area of 241,039 square kilometres. The climate is quite favourable as it is located at high altitude. On average, the country has two rainy seasons per year, which makes the land fertile.
Omoana is active in the south of the country, in the Jinja region, which borders Lake Victoria, and in the north, in the Gulu region.
 
 
Socio-economic context
 
Despite the 40% of the population living on less than a dollar a day, poverty seems to have started to decline in Uganda. More than 80% of the working population is employed in the agricultural sector: coffee is its main export income. However, the volatility of the price of coffee is a constant source of insecurity for the people who live off it. Although the country is self-sufficient in food, the distribution is uneven. Malnutrition is also a common problem within communities. 29% of children under 5 are chronically malnourished (Global Nutrition Report, 2015).
In addition to violence, the main causes of death are HIV/AIDS, malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis and road accidents. Although the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is already remarkably lower than twenty years ago, it is still very high (in 1990, the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women calculated in antenatal clinics was around 30%). HIV/AIDS is thus responsible for around ten thousand deaths each year. Such an epidemic therefore has a considerable economic and social impact. On the one hand, young adults affected by the disease are no longer able to provide labour or services. On the other hand, more and more children are orphaned, while the elderly are left to care for their own children's children.

Indicators 
Population, 2019 44 millions
Life expectancy, 2019 62,7
Under-5 mortality rate (per 1000 Children), 2019 45,8
Total fertility rate, 2018 4,96
% of population urbanized, 2019 24,3
% of population below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day, 2016 41,5
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, 15-49 years (%) 2019 5,8

Specific context of Northern Uganda:
 
In northern Uganda, the population has been held hostage for many years by a civil war that has ravaged the region since 1986. The population has suffered greatly from the conflicts between government forces and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), whose main leaders are wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Indeed, in order to achieve their goal, i.e. the seizure of power to run the country according to the Ten Commandments of the Bible, they have not hesitated to attack the civilian population, displacing 1.6 million people, kidnapping or killing tens of thousands, including about 60,000 children. 
 
A lasting peace is finally possible, but the many years of war have left indelible marks. In addition to all the problems specific to Uganda, such as poverty, AIDS, malaria and malnutrition, the population of this region has suffered the violence of war: the rebels have massacred entire villages, leaving behind many orphans or, worse still, recruiting children as child soldiers. Many families have had to leave their home villages (and their gardens, for the most part their only source of income) to settle in camps for displaced persons or near a town, in order to be safe from the rebels. The majority of children have not been able to attend normal schooling and quality schools are currently rare.
 
Short video, illustrating the impact of the war.  (Warning: some images may be shocking)