John Lukongwa is 35 years old, and his wife Sylvia Nazziwa is 24. He and Sylvia have 9 children: 3 daughters and 6 sons. John and Sylvia belong to Buswa Dairy Farmers’ Group in Lwangiri Parish. Prior to joining the Cow Program, the family did not have a daily income. They lived in and shared their small house with their chickens and 3 goats. They had poor crop production and poor nutrition. Home hygiene and sanitation were appalling. John confesses that due to poverty and poor living conditions, the family often suffered from malaria and other ailments.
In 2018, Lukongwa joined the Cow Program. He participated in various training and activities which helped him qualify to receive a cow. In November 2019, the family received an in-calf heifer from the Program. At the beginning, the family was able to collect cow dung and 8-10 liters of cow urine per day. Manure from the cow boosted crop production, especially coffee. The increased coffee harvest became a reliable source of income for John and his family. The cow gave birth to a female calf. The family now gets 13 liters of milk per day. For now, John gives the calf 6 liters, the family consumes 3 liters, and 4 liters are sold to the community. The family receives a daily income of UGX 4000/= ($1.13 USD) from the sale of milk. The female calf is being raised to pass on to another farmer.
Prior to the program, the family’s latrine was in the open without protective walls. Since joining the Cow Program, Lukongwa has constructed a new toilet using locally available materials. The toilet has a tippy tap (handwashing device), too . The family grows vegetables which they eat daily for better nutrition and periodically sell the surplus to customers of Buswa Trading Center, adding to their income. The Lukongwa’s household is a work in progress but they are making great headway.