News from Uganda: Update from Roy Calvocoressi

From Mini-Massacre to Minor Miracle

The CHIPS Border Resettlement Project was our response to the massacre at Lomaratoit in 2001. It comprised settling a mixed population of 25,000 Karamojong and Iteso along a 55km stretch of road between Olilim and Iriri in the south east and Apeitolim and Okoboi in the north west. We gave ourselves ten years to complete the project. Planning began in 2005.

Early in 2007 there was nobody living in Apeitolim or Okoboi until we moved there. Safety and security were poor and the people were afraid to move back. When it was known that CHIPS were moving in, villagers started to trickle back. We provided seed and tools to assist them to get started.

CHIPS Karamoja/Teso border project continues to grow

The CHIPS Uganda team have been making great progress in the ongoing resettlement programme, with the population in Apeitolim alone now exceeding 15,000 and new bases Obulin and Okolonyo nearing completion. All this is despite continued insecurity in the region and unreliable rainfall creating another impending food crisis. CHIPS continues to work with the Iteso and Karamojong to support them through practical projects and ministry to contribute to peace, following the example of Christ.

For a full update of our recent work, please download our Spring newsletter.

Groundwater and Climate Change in Africa

CHIPS recently collaborated with the University of Birmingham to produce a paper entitled:

Climate change impacts on groundwater recharge in northeastern Uganda and the potential role of groundwater development in livelihood adaptation and peace building.

This was a contribution to an international conference in Kampala in June 2008 which brought together more than 300 water scientists, managers and policy makers from 23 countries in Africa and 14 countries from the rest of the world to discuss the challenges facing Africa in terms of the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources.

Food crisis in Karamoja (NE Uganda) March 2008

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs "the food crisis in northeastern Uganda's Karamoja region has reached such a dire level that more than one million people are in need of emergency food aid" - read the full article here.

CHIPS is working with thousands of such affected Karimojong people by providing seeds and tools for cultivation and food for work until the next harvest comes.

CHIPS Director visits Ghana, October 2007

Last October, I was privileged to be asked to visit Ghana to carry out an evaluation of the peacebuilding work of a West African organisation, SEND, working in the NE of the country.

Having never travelled in West Africa before it was not with a little excitement that I stepped off the plane and travelled into the bush. Facilitated by SEND, I spent time meeting local chiefs, elders, youth, entrepeneurs, farmers and many local people who told me about their daily lives and the challenges they face.

From Montrose to Apeitolim

Last September, long-time CHIPS supporter William Wilson made the long journey from Scotland to NE Uganda to visit the CHIPS team and find out all about CHIPS work there. William writes...

William with CHIPS Project Manager Simon-Peter

"This was my first visit to Uganda - it was a huge culture shock, and the more so as you travelled further from Kampala to Soroti, Iriri, and finally Apeitolim. Arriving at Apeitolim, the first impression is that it is basic, but orderly. The CHIPS project consists of a few traditional huts surrounded by neat plantations. It became clear that a lot of thought had gone in using what were mostly local resources. People had been resettling Apeitolim for about a year – it had been the site of a CHIPS project a few years ago, until an attack caused the inhabitants to flee.

Coast To Coast for CHIPS

A group of friends from Croxley Green, near Watford in Hertfordshire, recently completed a walk across the top of England, and helped raise funds for CHIPS in the process.

Made It!

Brian Thomson and Phil Brading, both members of St. Oswald’s Parish Church in Croxley Green, undertook the famous Coast to Coast walk with their friends Ges and Jane Carey. The walk, from St Bees on the Cumbrian west coast, to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast, covers a distance of 190 miles (305km) and passes through three of England’s spectacular National Parks, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.