RIBE: Redemptive Intervention for a Better Environment
“Ribe” ———— means “unity” in Acholi, exactly the concept on which this project thrives.
WHAT IT IS
Amuru sub-county residents collectively caring for a few hectares of communally owned land, providing a shelter for threatened indigenous plants and trees while also farming local crops to sell at nearby markets. Profits help sustain the local office and surplus crops are left alone for the most vulnerable community residents to glean. The land reserve is a symbol of hope – a declaration of the kind of environment that local residents wish to have for generations to come.
The end of 2013 marked a significant milestone for the people of Amuru sub-county who have sought to protect their land from predatory investors and violent government theft for many years. They had successfully trained many residents and villages in nonviolent strategies to prevent land theft, but community leaders began saying, “If we wish to protect our land, we must demonstrate that it is worth protecting. We must practice the best methods of farming and make sure that our indigenous plants and trees do not become extinct. This land is our only asset. It is a part of us and we must share the responsibility to care for it together.”
Plans for a sustainable agricultural cooperative could not have been developed at a better time. The Pollination Project, pleased with the outcomes of their past support of Solidarity Uganda, graciously provided some seed money to launch RIBE. This funding caters for the initial expenses needed to get RIBE off the ground. RIBE was launched in early 2014.
1) Provide a space to cultivate and multiply endangered herbs, plants, trees, and other crops indigenous to Amuru’s threatened forests and grasslands.
2) Provide some space for volunteers to grow a surplus of crops to be sold at local markets. These profits will help sustain the land reserve financially.
3) Allow the most vulnerable (widows, orphans, elderly, the sick, etc) to glean at designated parts of the site.
4) Make a visual statement about the kind of community Amuru residents want to have for generations to come. (Community leaders have stressed that the effective use of land sends a message to encroachers that the land is being used and is not available for mass commercial interests, so developing sustainable agriculture is in itself a nonviolent method of resisting the land grabbing common in Amuru sub-county.)
I AM A LOCAL RESIDENT. HOW CAN I HELP?
You can contribute small pieces of land to the movement, volunteer to assist with the site’s upkeep, or discuss with us how RIBE could be replicated in your own community. Contact us for more information, putting “RIBE” in the subject line.
I AM NOT A UGANDAN, BUT I HAVE A SPECIAL INTEREST/EXPERTISE IN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, OR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY. HOW CAN I HELP?
Solidarity Uganda is currently accepting teams of 1 to 5 individuals with an interest in RIBE to live with families in our community and lend their expertise, all while learning the traditional agricultural and nutritional methods of local residents so that they can share their experiences within and beyond Northern Uganda. Interested persons may inquire with us here to request more information. Please put “RIBE” in the subject line and use a few sentences to describe your interests/skills as they relate to this project.