Stories written by Wambi Michael

Developing World Pushes for Rescue of U.N. Carbon Credit Fund

Negotiators from Least Developed Countries are calling for the United Nations climate body to urgently establish a rescue fund to save Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism from collapse.

Uganda Needs to Exploit its Own Mineral Riches

This year, as Uganda gears up to start producing the nearly two billion barrels in oil reserves that were discovered near its western border, critics say that little is being done to exploit the rich mineral resources located in some of the country’s poorest areas.

African Smallholder Farmers Need to Become Virus Detectors

Plant viruses are threatening the livelihoods of farmers and food security by attacking vital food crops in East and Central African countries. Cassava is the staple in most of these countries and it is one of the hardest hit crops.

African Smallholder Farmers Need to Become Virus Detectors

Unless African smallholder farmers, who comprise the majority of food growers on the continent, are given the tools and knowledge to cope with the increased occurrences of plant virus diseases, the livelihoods of millions will be at stake, according to Nteranya Sanginga, the director general of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.

African Negotiators Saving Kyoto from the Grave

African negotiators attending the United Nations climate change talks in Doha, Qatar say they are determined to ensure that developed countries do not let the Kyoto Protocol die as its commitment period comes to an end.

Overpopulation on Uganda’s Mount Elgon Kills Hundreds

The Ugandan government says it will forcibly remove people settling on the steep slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda’s Bududa District, as the growing population has resulted in increased landslides in recent years.

UGANDA: Rural Women’s Banks Ease Tough Times

For most Ugandan women, obtaining a commercial loan to start a business has been very difficult. Many do not have the required collateral of land title deeds and many cannot afford the interest rates charged by commercial banks.

Farmers fear that their produce will not be able to compete with those by EU subsidised farmers.  Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

East Africa Wants to Trade Beyond the EU

The East African Community (EAC) and European Union head back to negotiations on Monday to resolve the controversy over the delay in signing an economic partnership agreement between the two trading blocs.

Dr. Lisa Umphrey is the resident doctor at the Beatrice Tierney Clinic.  Credit: Wambi Michael

UGANDA: In Search of Better Medical Care

Even though government health services are free, Grace Nafungo Kutosi doesn’t mind paying the two thousand shillings (about one dollar) when she visits the non-governmental Beatrice Tierney Clinic in Bumwalukani village. In fact, paying the fee at the clinic, which is a 20-minute walk from her home, is cheaper than her having to travel to the nearest government clinic almost seven kilometres away.

A nurse shows one of the mostly commonly used contraceptives.  Credit:  Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA-HEALTH: When Women Go Without Needed Contraceptives

When the monthly contraceptive injection that Bernadette Asiimwe, a mother of four, got from government health centres in western Uganda was out of stock for weeks, she fell pregnant with her fifth child.

Rose Nakanjako, the chairperson of Mama Club, a group of women Living with HIV/AIDS said she did not receive proper antenatal care. Credit: Wambi Michael

RIGHTS-UGANDA: Government Needs to Prioritise Maternal Health

Just a week after a group of civil society organisations petitioned Uganda’s constitutional court demanding that the government’s non-provision of essential services for pregnant mothers was a violation of the right to life; Margaret Nabirye lost her baby in childbirth.

 Edmary Mpagi spent 18 years on death row after being wrongfully convicted of murder.  Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA: ‘So Many Innocent People Are Dying’

Edmary Mpagi and his cousin Fred Masembe were convicted by a Ugandan court and sentenced to death for the murder of a man who was later found alive.

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is the first female speaker of Uganda

POLITICS: First Woman Speaker of Parliament Changing Politics

Very soon wives in Uganda will legally have the right to a share in their husband’s property, that’s if the country’s new speaker of parliament has her way.

Mama Namu and her more efficient charcoal stove. Credit:  Wambi Michael/IPS

Uganda Stoves Saving Fuel and Forests

Carbon finance is putting new and efficient charcoal stoves into hundreds of thousands of kitchens in Uganda – reducing charcoal use and protecting forests as well as saving money for poor households.

Women get a first look at a Sun Oven in northern Uganda. Credit:  Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA: Sun Smiling on Renewable Energy Initiative

Clementine Auma was still living in a displaced person's camp in Gulu district when she acquired the treasure she's gone into the house to fetch. She re-emerges from her home with a white box in her arms: a solar oven.

Farmer Stanley Nasasa of Bukalasi, Uganda, shows washed coffee beans. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

DEVELOPMENT-UGANDA: Better Coffee Brings Better Living Conditions

Producing quality Arabica coffee beans on the slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda is only viable once farmers are assured ready access to the global market. Fair trade has made this possible.

Farmer Sera Nafungo picking coffee berries in Bukalasi, eastern Uganda. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

DEVELOPMENT-UGANDA: Fair Trade Gives Coffee Farming a Lift

The cultivation of coffee beans for fair trade has turned the fortunes of this historical cash crop around in some poor rural areas on the slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda.

Severe jigger infestation. Credit:  Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA: Sand Fleas: Neglected Threat to Primary Education

Jowaali Dhikusoka sits on the side of the road, alone and bored. The twelve-year-old doesn’t play much with the other children in his village because he has trouble walking. His hands and feet are infested with sand fleas, in Uganda commonly called jiggers, which itch and cause him a lot of pain.

AGRICULTURE-UGANDA: Pee Solves a Problem

Faced with a severe decline in soil fertility and low crop production as a result, Ugandan farmers have turned to human urine to improve the richness of their soil.

Uganda Failing to Control TB

John Mahanga sits on his hospital bed, coughing persistently. The 42-year-old has been suffering from tuberculosis (TB) for the past three years. He has been in treatment for it, but repeatedly stopped taking medication when he felt better. Doctors have now diagnosed him with multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

Salim Kato escorts his wife to all her antenatal visits. Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

UGANDA: Unfriendly Nurses and Culture Hinder Male Involvement in HIV Prevention

Irene Wangolo was advised to undergo an HIV test during her antenatal visit and to return to the clinic with her husband so they could be counselled on preventing HIV transmission to their unborn baby. But her husband refused to accompany her saying it was not his business and Wangolo never returned to the clinic in Bungokho in eastern Uganda. So she missed all the services, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).

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