In October 2019 – fortunately just before the Covid pandemic – Chair of KUFL Kit Lawry and her husband James Kennedy visited Uyogo to meet our local partners there and see how projects we have supported in Uyogo over the years are doing. It was a memorable visit, not least because of the total electricity power cut as we arrived in Uyogo so introductions were all done in the dark!
Over three days we visited most of the projects KUFL has supported over the years, and some potential ones for the future. These included the Uyogo dispensary (for which KUFL has subsequently provided a clean water supply), the three primary schools in Uyogo Ward: Uyogo, Kasela and Igembensabo.
KUFL has supported / is supporting all of these at different times, helping to finish off classroom buildings and constructing teachers’ houses. We saw the Beekeeping Cooperative’s workshop room with their carpentry tools and their hives made of wood (far better for trees than using bark hives which kill off the trees), and their honey processing room next door. Uyogo was connected to the national electricity grid in 2018 which enables the Beekeepers to make full use of the carpentry tools and, with a sewing machine also given by KUFL, to make their own beekeeping overalls and hoods. The Beekeeping Cooperative runs as an income generating community group.
Kit meeting with the Uyogo Beekeeping cooperative, in the building they had renovated to hold carpentry machines donated by KUFL to make their own top bar bee hives. (Uyogo had fairly recently been connected to the national electricity grid and the machines worked well.)
We saw several water projects that KUFL has supported: the water borehole which KUFL provided with the help of WaterAid some 14 years ago, valued locally for giving good quality drinking water; several rainwater harvesting tanks attached to the gutters of the primary school and other public buildings to capture and store water; two concrete tunnels under an earthen road embankment that keep routes for flood water open during the rainy season so the road from Uyogo to Urambo, the nearest town, doesn’t collapse and become unpassable.
We also had a meeting with the senior Government representative, the District Commissioner, (since replaced a couple of times by others in this post) to continue the openness and cooperation with local government authorities which KUFL has always strived to maintain. And most importantly, we renewed our relationships with Lucky Mgeni our liaison person with the Uyogo community, the Village Committee who had kindly organised our accommodation in the house of the Uyogo Primary School Headteacher, and all the food involved during our stay, and with Uyogo villagers.
Meeting the Headmaster of Igembensabo Primary School.
KUFL sponsored Dr Joyce to upgrade her medical skills from village nurse, over five years of studying in Dar es Salaam, to become a hospital doctor, working in nearby Urambo hospital for several years before her recent transfer to Mbeya in southern Tanzania in 2022. Lucky is KUFL’s channel of communication with Uyogo residents. He consults with them, listens to their concerns and priorities, and then relays their wishes to KUFL to inform our activities and support. Lucky also provides KUFL with photos and videos to verify progress with projects via WhatsApp.
Igembensabo is a sub-village in Uyogo Ward, where parents are currently working on building a new classroom. KUFL will support with expensive items towards the end, for example, corrugated iron sheets for the roof; bars and insect netting for windows.