Uror Project
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UROR PROJECT

Geographical Location and population

 

Uror County is situated in the central Upper Nile region. It is one of the eleven counties of Jonglei State. It lies between Duk County and Nyirol County. It has eight payams namely, Yuai, Pieri, Tiam, Payai, Motot, Pulchuol, Pathai, and Karam. The Uror Agriculture Program is implemented in Yuai, Wek and Karam Payams. Uror County has a population of 197,000.

 

Socio-economic and political context

 

The inhabitants of Uror County are agro-pastoralists. They also rely on game-meat for food during the dry season. They lost a great number of their livestock during the period of the war that lasted for about 23 years, and during the recent disarmament. Uror markets are just picking up because the area has been unstable in the past due to the war. Most of all the basic commodities, including building materials, come from Juba the capital town of the Republic of South Sudan. Almost all commodities are imported from Uganda and Kenya. The currency in circulation in this area is mostly the Sudanese pounds. The county is administered by state appointed County Commissioner.

 

 

Security situation

 

While at the start of the initial phase of the project in 2005, the security situation was good with the only incident of insecurity in the area brought about as a result of forced disarmament, the trend changed from the beginning of 2009 which was characterized by very heavy fighting between the Murlei and Lou Nuers. The cause of these fights was mainly related to cattle rustling and competition for watering and grazing sites. The brief period of turmoil grossly affected free movement in and out of the county. But the situation has changed and calm and peace was restored in the area after PRDA senior staff visited the Jonglei state headquarters and discussed the possibility of quick peace return to the area. From afore going, it is clear that implementation of the planned activities was drastically affected. With attainment of independence it is hoped that security will improve to make the situation conducive for work in agriculture to thrive. The same should apply to the work in water and sanitation.

 

Project goal:

The main goal of the project is improvement of the livelihoods of the population of Uror County by the year 2013, through a two-pronged approach;

Improved food security.

Establishment of income -generating activities.

 

Expected results are;

Alleviation of hunger and malnutrition in children,

Increased household income,

Improved local organizational capacity which will be realized through improved delivery of services by PRDA.

 

Activities of Uror Program

 

The main activities of the programme are:-

Infield extension staff training and Health Technicians

External in-service training for extension workers

Quarterly in-field training to contact farmers on improved agricultural practices and the community on water, sanitation and hygiene.

Provide agricultural inputs.

Seed multiplication

Locate, purchase and multiply ‘lost’ local varieties of food crops.

Establish and maintain demonstration farms (Farmer Field Schools- FFSs)

Establish, build and equip the project bases with training facilities

Construction of water wells/boreholes

Uror programme was started in 2005. All the activities indicated in the program were carried out but some with a lot of difficulties due to insecurity in the region in the whole of Jonglei State. There have been very frequent inter-tribal skirmishes particularly between the Nuer community and the Murle community. The skirmishes have been very deadly most of which have been to do with cattle rustling and competition for watering points and grazing land.

 

Infield Extension Staff Training

 

Infield Extension staff training was carried out by Agriculture Coordinator to sharpen the knowledge base of the Extension workers so that they, in turn, pass the same technical knowhow to the farming community. The Health Coordinator also conducted training for the Health Technicians on water and sanitation and on the management of the water wells.

 

External Extension Staff Training

 

External Extension staff training was done by Yei Crop Production College. All the Extension workers underwent the in-service training in the college except one staff who has been sickly. This has improved their professional capability which will help in the programme sustainability when the programme comes to an end.

 

Contact Farmers Training

 

The contact farmers were trained on improved agriculture by the Extension workers to improve their production of the crops they grow. This improved their production levels and hence improved household food security and household income.

 

Establishment of Demonstration Farms

 

PRDA also established crop demonstration plots in the three (3) bases in the programme area. These were Yuai, Wek and Karam. These demonstration plots also known as Farmer Field Schools (FFS) were used for practical training for both contact farmers and Extension workers. They were also used to carry out fielddays to show the contrast between good farming practices and the bad practices. In addition they served as seed multiplication farms to bulk the seeds to distribute to the farmers the following season. The seed multiplication included both seeds bought from established seed companies and the collected lost traditional seed varieties.

 

Purchase and Distribution of farm inputs

 

These comprised seeds and farm tools. They were mainly bought in Nairobi and transported to the program site at the beginning of the program as no tools and seeds could be found locally. The seeds were mainly cereals such as maize and sorghum, vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, okra, kales, brinjals and pulses mainly cowpeas and beans. The tools were bought were jembes, pangas, axes, watering cans and water pumps for irrigation during the dry periods. Some of these inputs were used in the demonstration farms while the rest were distributed to the farmers who could not afford nor had the means of acquiring them. But at the moment most the inputs can be found in Juba town.

 

Establishment of Bases

 

In total PRDA established three (3) bases from where the PRDA staff operated. These were Yuai Base which was the biggest and the main base where external staff resided when they visited the field, Wek Base and Karam Base. Only Yuai has a training hall and tukuls (houses) as living quarters for the staff and visitors. Karam and Wek have two tukuls each for the field staff.

 

Impact of the program

 

There is change of attitude towards the improved methods of Agriculture

The farmers are adopting and applying the use of improved agricultural practices

There is a marked improvement on quality of life from the observations made

The farmers having adopted new farming methods have increased their production from 3 and 4 bags to 12 and 15 bags of sorghum and maize respectively.

Most families have adopted the eating of vegetables to provide them with vitamins

There is high demand for improved seeds for both cereals and vegetables

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