Villages Connected Blog


The crew’s glimpse at village life by Caroline Spira
June 14, 2011, 4:20 pm
Filed under: VC Team | Tags: , , , , ,

Not everything that Villages Connected does will show up in pictures and in film.  But in a week and a bit, we have already experienced so many new things, met so many new people – it will be hard to capture it all in a condensed version we can share.

And while the media co-op members are knee-deep in their film and photography training, we figured we might take some time to experience for ourselves a little of what village life is like.

A few days ago, we were able to visit Kyhnyawara, a village just outside Fort Portal.  This is where 3 of the media co-op members live, and they were quite happy to show us around a little.

a walk through the village

We started with a visit of the Science Centre where we learned about the various wildlife in Kibale National Park which the village borders.

Do the elephants and primates that live in the park ever come into the village, you may ask?

Yes!  And they can create havoc because they interfere with the farmer’s crops.  However, of course, the animals and their habitat needs to be protected.

Do the villagers also use the forest for food and firewood?

Villagers have unfortunately grown dependent on the bush meat and the timber from the forest, and the degradation has caused problems.  Many efforts by the Science Centre, community groups and outside benefactors are ongoing to bring about a reversing of these effects.

Some of the efforts have included promoting the construction and use of “rocket stoves” which have a faster and more efficient cooking time, therefore requiring less firewood.  The women in the village are also experimenting with cooking pellets made of a combination of peanut shells, sawdust and recycled paper.

Media co-op members Bashil and Samuel give a demonstration on how to build a rocket stove

Crew member Caroline learns about the efficiency of alternative fuels

Other ongoing projects include handicrafts, music and dance, sustainable timber production, bee keeping and other animal husbandry.

This of course, is only what we could see and learn in a very short visit.  We look forward to the days ahead when the participants themselves can share, from their perspective, the opportunities within this one small village.

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Some months ago the New Yorker did a troubling piece about the huge use of open fires in developing countreis, especially in Africa. The resulting air pollution and deforestation are environmentally devastating. This report on local use of rocket stoves and alternative cooking pellets is very encouraging. Keep up the good work. Your documentary will be awesome!
Michael Real

Comment by Michael Real

It was very interesting to read about how these people in the village live their everyday lives.
Tell us more about the “rocket stove”. I have not heard of that before.

Comment by toortjie

While we filmed their demonstration ourselves, we are quite certain that further explanations will come from their own video or photo presentation. Will be sure to post either of those when they have gone through the magical hands of the editing crew. 🙂

Comment by Caroline Spira

This great work being done to save Uganda’s wildlife with much emphasis put on the forest!
I hope the communities wil implement these skills they are learning from these environment conservationists!!

Comment by Agaba Johnson

How exciting! I’ve been reading a little on rocket stoves lately. I look forward to hearing what they have to say. So glad you guys are sharing this with the world. and on a personal note: I’m kind of jealous that you’re with the elephants Ernie…. hug one for me. -Donae

Comment by Donae




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