Friday 4th May 2018
We left the farmland at lunchtime. In the morning John took us on a drive along one of the boundaries of the land that has been purchased. While we were out I asked him about how the project was set up. The pictures below are taken from different points on the boundary of their land and are taken on the zoom setting on my phone camera. The farm buildings are close to the horizon in each picture. They sit in the middle of the land …..
The land that has been purchased is of a very significant size and, as well as providing a good food supply for the primary and technical schools in Rukungiri, it is intended that an agricultural field school will be set up at Kijongobya (in Kyegegwa District) which will work alongside Gables Technical School in Rukungiri and broaden the possible courses of study for those young people who do not go on to higher education.
All of John and Alice’s projects have been set up with trustees and are managed by that group of trustees. They also have a charity in the UK which is run independently by people in the UK …… Rukungiri Orphan Partnership. (http://www.rop.uk.net and on Facebook.)
The vision is clearly John and Alice’s, and John is now 67 years old. It is difficult to imagine him retiring but it will happen one day. Between them they have set up teams of competent people in each of their projects who now run those projects without a great deal of interference from John and Alice. John and Alice are working with a group of younger people at the farmland at the moment training them to take on particular management roles. It is too early as yet to appoint an overall manager of the framland project but ultimately that will be the plan …….
They have also set up a school in Kijongobya working on the same principles as Rukungiri Modern. We have already shared some details about Kijongobya Modern Primary School in an earlier post.
One of the boreholes we have helped to fund will supply both the school and the village with water. The next phase of that project is to purchase a submersible pump and generator and to build a pumphouse for the generator and to protect the borehole. You have seen pictures of the water tanks (in an earlier post) which are ready and waiting for the pump.
We were planning to bring a group from Ashton Deanery to Uganda in 2017 but people found the likely cost prohibitive. We planned a two night stay at the farmland as things were a little more basic year or so ago. But we thought that a couple pictures of our room at the farmland might give a good impression of what it might be like to stay there. If you were ever to think about doing so!😇
We also thought that a couple of maps might help place where we have been for the past few days ……
On this first map, Kampala can be seen on the extreme right and the village of Kijongobya is marked by the blue ‘flag’ it is about 25km south of the Fort Portal road at Kyegegwa. The grey/black line to the left of the picture is the international boundary with the DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo).
This larger scale map shows the Katonga Game Reserve, ths Katonga River and Kigongobya District (still marked by the blue ‘flag) in a little greater detail.
This last map shows Rukungiri in the centre (red ‘flag’). Mitoma which is marked onnthe first map above can be seen to the north-east of Rukungiri, Lake Edward to the north-west, the international boundary is visible on the left of the map. The towns of Kabale and Kisoro appear to the south along with Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyoni. The international boundary south of Kisoro is the border with Rwanda.
And some pictures of people ……..
Us with John and Alice
Jo with Specioza, Stella
Leon and Elius
Elius and Roger
We travelled via Mbarara to Rukungiri, arriving at about 8.00pm.
We had a quick meal and then retired to our room where we had our first showers in a week. That sounds worse than it is. At the farmland, we were provided with buckets and jerry-cans of hot water to wash in, and in a while the bathrooms will be equipped with showers. Water pressure will be low, as a high level water tank has still to be installed at the farmland, and there will need to be more than solar power or wood fires to heat water!
The night time temperatures in Rukungiri are lower which means getting to sleep is a little easier. Although I’d (Roger) have to say that I am sleeping better here than in Ashton!😴