Skilling refugees in small ruminant rearing for enhanced household nutrition and incomes.

Success story on reduction of infant mortality of young rabbits.

Maternal feeding practices and behaviours that are proven to reduce or worsen childhood malnutrition. Aware of this, KRC Uganda in partnership with Save the Children International, are working with care groups in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement to promote behaviour change for mothers and caretakers towards improved nutritional outcomes for infants and children.

As such, the nutrition project is supporting refugee households to diversity access to nutrient rich animal proteins and household incomes through small ruminant rearing, including rabbits and Guinee pigs.

Following the distribution of the animals, many groups suffered high animal mortality rates. This prompted the KRC agronomist to support the groups with sensitization on optimal management of the animals focusing on prevention of animal diseases and general animal care practices to prevent deaths and to increase reproductive rate. From the sensitization sessions, the groups have observed great improvement in managing their animals and have been able to see a reduction in mortality rates for their animals.

Ms. MOHOZA GODANSI aged 32 and a lead mother of KYAKONIKYANGU group in Sweswe Kitonzi Cell, Itambabiniga Zone is thankful for the technical support from KRC extension workers and had this to say.

Since we received rabbits, we have been experiencing constant deaths of young ones due to attacks from rodents like rats and mice and even from cannibal mother rabbits that eat their young ones. Sometimes the old male also kills young males due to dominancy of territory. We shared this problem in the care group meeting and we were advised by another lead mother to try and be innovative by using plastic containers to hide newly produced and all other young rabbits and only bring out to breast feed in the presence of the attendant and take them back immediately after breast feeding.

By consistently doing so, there is no any young rabbits that has died since then and we currently have 24 young rabbits from three female rabbits. We are now moving around with the Community Based Facilitator spreading this message to other groups that are still experiencing the same problem. We are hopeful that we shall have very many rabbits and start distributing to each group member, getting money from our rabbit sales and supplementing our diets”.  Ms. MOHOZA GODANSI.

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