$210,000 grant for Uganda project | TheUnion.com

$210,000 grant for Uganda project

The Nevada City Rotary Club has received a $210,000 grant that will be used to provide clean drinking water and establish goat herds for the Batwa pygmies in Uganda.

The grant is one of 20 Health, Hungry and Humanity grants awarded this year by the Rotary Foundation, said Colette Martin-Wilde, the group’s coordinator for humanitarian grants.

The Nevada City Rotary Club submitted one of 67 proposals for the grants, she said.

“To reach the 3-H program requirements is quite an accomplishment. It is a highly competitive process,” said Martin-Wilde, adding that it took one year for the proposal to get approved.

Don Fultz of Nevada City will administer the program, which is an extension of the work done being done by Dr. Scott Kellerman’s clinic in Uganda.

Fultz said water-borne illnesses and malnutrion are life-threatening problems for the Batwa pygmies and others who live in tiny settlements in the Buhoma and Kabale areas of Uganda. The money will be used to find ways to keep water clean and educate local residents about the importance of sanitation, he said.

As part of that project, Sol Henson of Nevada City will spend a year in Uganda to help identify clean sources of water and find ways to store it.

Fultz said the money also will be used to build more than 100 latrines.

“These are hunters and gatherers who have no concept of sanitation,” Fultz said. “We’re going to work to eliminate the contamination.”

The second primary goal of the grant is to add protein to the diets of the Batwa pygmies by establishing goat herds, which will provide milk, meat and a source of income. Fultz said the Rotarians will start with two herds that will initially provide milk to patients at Kellerman’s Bwindi Community Health Centre.

“First, we want to provide for the patients and then the schools,” Fultz said.

“As the herds multiply, the pygmies will actually have an annual income of $250 per year, which is five times their current income.”

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.

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