The fields have been planted, and now Uganda is waiting for the rain to come. During my travels last week, every woman we interviewed talked about the rains coming late. The story is the same at the Lubbe Farm, but Watoto is lucky to have great donors that have supplied them with irrigation equipment for some of the fields. Preparations for drought started more than a month ago. They have a new irrigation pump that they fitted to supply water from the irrigation pond to the fields.
Kiyongo and Joe put the irrigation pipes on the pump.
Sprinklers are being put in some of the maize plots. The fields need to be wet in order to apply fertilizer, and the time for fertilizer is approaching.
Tamale and Barbra help to put the irrigation equipment together.
We received a good rain Friday, and we all rejoiced as the rain poured down. This rain has not been consistent and more is needed. We are thankful to have the irrigation for some of the fields but many are still not irrigated.
The start of the rains came on Friday.
We are still battling the Anthracnose on the mangos, but it seems to be slowing down. We have thrown out the infected seedlings and washed and sanitized the planting sacks for reuse. It took a whole day to wash and sanitize the bags to ensure that the fungus would not spread.
Possible and Disan wash the planting bags.
The bags are washed, sanitized with bleach, and set out to dry.
The shade cloth has been completed and there are more than 1,000 seedlings inside. The transplanting is almost finished, and we are beginning to plant the leftover seeds from the last planting.
Possible, Francis and Edisa place the newly transplanted mango seedling in the shade cloth.
Jennifer Bryant is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Bryant is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is in her first year of the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on international agriculture development and sustainability.