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Challenging Malnutrition Among South Sudanese Refugees

Posted On: September 12, 2023
Susan Sunday holding a bowl of freshly harvested tomatoes in her vegetable plot.
Susan Sunday in her kitchen garden in Imvepi Refugee Settlement.

By Susan Sunday, a vegetable grower and Village Health Team member in Imvepi Refugee Settlement, as told to East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation Technical Field Officer Nicholas Turyahikayo.

TEREGO DISTRICT, UGANDA – I am a South Sudanese refugee aged 42 years. In February 2019, I settled in Village 10, Point C, Tank 70 in Imvepi Refugee Settlement in northwestern Uganda. I am a member of the Village Health Team in my village, and my role is to mobilize and educate the community about health and nutrition. 

Malnutrition is one of the major challenges in our community, not only because we don’t have enough land to produce our own nutritious foods but because we never had enough knowledge on how to use the small plots of land allocated to us to produce vegetables to eat. 

A young woman harvesting pumpkin leaves in a vegetable plot in Imvepi Refugee Settlement.
A member of Susan Sunday’s family harvesting pumpkin leaves in the kitchen garden.

The interventions of the Improving Food Security and Incomes and Reducing Chronic Malnutrition project in our community have played a significant role toward increasing the availability of nutritious vegetables, which guarantees our households balanced diets that directly improve community health. 

This project has also simplified my role as a member of the Village Health Team, since I can now raise awareness on what the community already has. In the past when I trained about the benefits of vegetable consumption to human health, there were barely any vegetables grown in the community, and the few available ones in the market used to be brought from the host community.

East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation’s work here has also helped us to balance the void left by the food rations reduction by the World Food Programme. Food given nowadays is very small to take us through the month. The unique approach of this project that is training us to produce our own vegetables helps us not only to have a sustainable source of nutritious food but also to earn income from vegetable farming.