Alex Ondiga is a national who has gone out of the ordinary way to give chunks of his own land to refugees to cultivate freely. In his opinion, it is necessary for him to do this as an act of kindness because no one knows what the future holds.
“These people (refugees) are in miserable state. If war begins in Uganda, we shall also run to them and it would be painful to be turned away in such a state of need. This is why I am doing this because no one wakes up and prays for war. It just happens and before you know it you have almost nothing to attach to your name for your children to inherit.”
Alex is also the leader of a farmer field group started under the migration project where they are provided with knowledge and work tools to enable them develop economically through farming. In these groups, there are a mixture of both refugee and host community individuals working together towards a common goal. As a group, they learn good farming practices usually from a challenging study enterprise.
“In my group, we were told to select two sets of crop. A cash crop and a food crop. Personally, I selected cassava and beans for food, then soya and onions as my cash crop. However because of the harsh weather, the majority has dried off.
The benefits of the project are quite clear to Alex Ondiga.
“I was excited when this project started. I had never been a farmer and yet I had a lot of farming land. I have learnt how to practice agriculture and now I am benefiting both financially and domestically from it. Eventually when I sell the produce from my cash crops, I will increase the number of my livestock which will increase my profits in the future. We also do village savings in groups of 30 where we can attain loans to expand our business all thanks to this project.”