Pesticide safety Community Sensitization in Adjumani.

Community sensitization in Ukusijoni sub county was held from 18th to 24th October 2019.

The sensitization took 5days and covered 5 groups in Ukusijoni Sub County(one group per day). the groups included;

  1. Amasevuleku farmer group,
  2. Amaebeku farmer group,
  3. Amadrio B farmer group,
  4. Alendro farmer group and
  5. Amazirura farmer group.

Attendance

People who attended the training included: the trainers, PHE Project focal person, group leaders, CDO for the sub county, Sub county chief, parish chiefs, agriculture officers, Adjumani DFA field staff, PHE committee representatives.

below is a list of farmers groups that participated in the training. A total of 200 farmers were reached out as indicated in the table below.

S/n Group name M F T
1 Amasevuleku farmer group 8 32 40
2 Amaebeku farmer group 10 30 40
3 Amadrio B farmer group 16 24 40
4 Alendro farmer group 13 27 40
5 Amazirura farmer group 19 21 40
Total attendance 66 134 200

Each training day had an agenda as follows:

  • Arrival registration, and opening prayer
  • Opening remarks by a committee member
  • Remarks by SAS or CDO
  • Sensitization on pesticide use and handling
  • Questions and answers
  • Way forwards
  • Closing Remarks by area Lc3 chairperson or Sec for production.Sensitization on pesticide use and handling.In relation to the responsible handling and use of pesticides the following key issues were addressed to the community (by the PHE focal person)
    • What is a pesticide?
    • What are pesticides used for?
    • Crop husbandry
    • Animal husbandry
    • Public health
    • Warehouses and stores
    • What are agrochemicals?’After the training sessions, an opportunity was given to the community to ask questions in relation to the covered topics.

Observations during the meetings were;

  • Community intention to change of mind on pesticide handling and use
  • Members saw the relevance of safe storage of pesticides a means for reducing accidents
  • Key first aid measures in case of accidents
  • Importance of seeking information on pesticide handling and use
  • The relevance of protection during chemical handling and utilization
  • Need for continued sensitization for those who have not yet accessed information on Pesticide safety and use.
  • Mainstreaming pesticide education at the community level in all NGO and government livelihood programmes.
  • The relevance of protecting the environment.

Lessons learned were;

  • Low level of knowledge at the community level
  • Local leaders at all levels needed to be equipped with key knowledge on safe handling and use of pesticides.
  • Bye-laws on pesticides and agrochemicals can increase awareness and precautionary measures in pesticide handling and use.
  • We need to expand on the pesticide awareness platforms at the community level.

Recommendation

  • Need for PHE project to provide resources for demonstration materials at the community level apart from the information education communication materials.
  • Where possible provide exchange visit programs for committee members and selected farmers to learn best practices in pesticide handling usage in other parts of Uganda.
  • We need to plan for more platforms for information.
  • Linking national bigger input suppliers with the DFA’s and active input dealers in the district.
  • Organizing community dialogues on safer handling and use of pesticides at the parish level in the selected sub-counties to reach many beneficiaries.

Way forwards or action points noted

  • Sharing the radio talk show and spot message schedules with the group and community members.
  • Every member who attended the sensitization meeting needed to reach or create awareness for at least 3 persons.
  • Organizing vegetable farmers in groups for information and training dissemination
  • Passing the messages on responsible pesticide handling to members of the household
  • Having planned monitoring schedules for the community.

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