Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Obama Fever

Although I'm sure security in the Great Lakes region has crossed Barack Obama's mind, I think it is just possible that in light of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, American troops engaged in two intractable wars, a huge energy deficit and a healthcare system which leaves millions out, the New Vision might have got slightly carried away yesterday.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Photos from the 'HungerFREE Campaign'

Over the past three weeks a team of Action Aid staff has been touring Uganda to promote our 'HungerFREE' campaign, with a particular emphasis on the role of rural women in food security issues. Our broad themes of access to seed, land and markets remained the same, however we were also aiming to raise some of the specific problems that women in certain parts of Uganda have to deal with. To give some context women in Uganda constitute 80% of the agricultural labour force and yet only 7% of women own land. This means that the proceeds of production are dominated by men, who, it is generally thought, waste far more. Of course the issue of land ownership is highly sensitive in certain cultures, meaning our campaign has to tread carefully. However, after speaking to dozens of women farmers on the tour I have no doubt that Ugandan agriculture would be in a far stronger position if women were allowed to have full control over the means of production, and not just supply the hard work.

These are some of the photos I took during the campaign, starting with children holding up 'HungerFREE' placards outside the campaign bus in Barlonyo, Northern Uganda:

A group of women farmers from the islands of Kalangala discuss what changes they would like to see to improve their livlihoods:

A mass rally of women farmers marching through Masindi town as bicycle boda-boda men look on:

Action Aid staff discuss the Masindi march:

My Kind of 'Straight Talk'

In my opinion this is one of the best quotes of the campaign so far. It came from Gen. Colin Powell last Sunday on 'Meet the Press':

I'm also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said such things as: "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is: he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is: No, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some 7 year old Muslim-American kid believing he or she can be President? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion: he's a Muslim, and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Hardly earth-shattering (sorry) news I know, but what the below image indicates is that at 5.15pm local time an earthquake of 4.6 magnitude hit the region. The epicentre was 195km from Kampala under Lake Victoria. The window panes were rattling over here in Kamwokya but fortunately the rumblings were no match for the sturdy foundations of an ex-Kampala City Council flat. Now if only they could put the same effort into their roads...


Thursday's New Vision take on the quake: