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Women in Gulu Start Food Security Campaign

Florence Akello, one of the women who prepared dried vegetable with sim-sim paste (ojede), said that the dish is not only easy to prepare but inputs also last for long, its preparation is fast, it is healthy, and requires no extra ingredients.
one of the local dish (ngoo) prepared with millet posho. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

Audio 7



Women in Gulu district have embarked on a campaign to promote food security and enhance nutrition among the populace.  

Under the umbrella of Woro Lonyo Women Group located in Lukodi Village, Bungatira Sub County the women carry out public sensitization and awareness campaigns on the need to preserve, store and cheaply utilize readily available dishes within a given locality.

They mainly focus on training members of the public on the best traditional cooking practices of available local food which includes vegetables and cereals.

  

Florence Atto, the Woro Lonyo Women Group Chairperson told URN on Monday that they take advantage of public meetings, gatherings, trading centers, and public institutions to instill knowledge on such practices. 

  

She explains that Acoli land is endowed with varieties of local dishes including boo, peas, sim-sim, groundnuts, hibiscus, white ants, honey, cassava, pumpkin, oyado, akeyo, obuga, odwonga, opado wii akuri, and acak.

  

According to Atto, such dishes are fast maturing, easy to prepare, last for long, are healthy and freely available or at very low prices, making them key in combating food insecurity.  

She notes that some parts of the Acholi land are faced with hunger, malnourishment, poor health, and food shortage because they are abandoning the traditional foods and opting for expensive ones in the market hence perpetuating starvation. 

//Cue in: ‘’ma ineno aneni…//  

Cue out: …tye kwon kal.’’//

  

On Monday, the women converged at Lukodi Primary School in Lukodi Village where they showcased, trained the locals, prepared, and freely served the local dishes before wooing everyone to take up the cause.  

Some of the dishes included lakotokoto made from raw sim-sim paste, ngo made from peas, Ojede from seeds, akeyo and obuga from greens, lapwori from dried greens, lakilikili, lalwinya ngwen from white ant paste and shea butter, labana kul from oyado greens and bush meats among others.  

 

Florence Akello, one of the women who prepared dried vegetable with sim-sim paste (ojede), said that the dish is not only easy to prepare but inputs also last for long, its preparation is fast, it is healthy, and requires no extra ingredients.

 

//Cue in: ‘’arubu mete myene… //

Cue in: …ma mit adada.’’// 

  

Betty Arach who took the crowd through the preparation process of pasted munched peas (ngoo) says that most of the local dishes are readily available and easy to prepare.

//Cue in: ‘’lwong nyinga ni…//  

Cue out: …yang con enu.’’// 

  

Santa Auma said some of the food mend relationships in the family. Among them she named dried vegetables and sim-sim paste (lapwing-pwung). 

//Cue in: ‘’lwonga ni Auma…// Cue out: …cako tedo manyen.’’// 

  

Joyce Akello, who prepared Oyado said that the wild vegetable can be found anywhere yet it is a delicacy and has medicinal value. 

   

Agnes Acan added that cooked raw sim-sim paste (lakotokoto) also has medicinal value and does not require expensive ingredients for its preparation. 

 

Lutada Ojara, the Bungatira Sub County Chairperson urged members of the community to embark on the traditional dishes instead of crying over lack of food and high commodity prices. 

 

//Cue in: ‘’wit cam ma… // 

Cue out: …weku wunu orweny.’’//   

Albino Atube, the Headteacher of Lukodi Primary School also noted that the Acoli community needs to embrace their culture in order to tackle hardships. 

 

Sarah Nkayimbi, the Programs Manager Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (FJDI) says that they are supporting the war-affected communities to revive their cultural practices that had already been degraded by the Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency.  

She adds that their initiatives include supporting local dishes in order for a food secure and healthy community.  

//Cue in: ‘’ we are running…// Cue out: …cooking, the dances.’’//

  

The intervention is in response to the soaring prices of commodities and food items in the country as well as the high poverty level in the Acholi subregion.