At 38 years old and the widowed mother of 5, Namuddu Harriet had begun to feel weighed down by the compounding challenges she faced on a daily basis.
“I was having hard times taking care of my family because I didn’t have enough money. I considered myself a useless woman,” she says.
That’s when she heard about a COVID & Climate Resilience Training being offered by Women’s Earth Alliance and the Uganda Women’s Water Initiative (UWWI). The training would support Ugandan grassroots women like Namaddu to build community resilience to address the impacts of the pandemic and climate crisis, by establishing green community-based micro-enterprises which would provide sustainable livelihoods.
Shortly after completing the training and gaining skills in climate adaptation, business management and bookkeeping, Namaddu received a seed grant from WEA to start her own business.
“I never imagined I could run a successful business of rearing goats and making manure from the cow dung,” Namaddu explained. ”But I am happy to report that when I got my seed grant…I bought two female goats and started making manure through collecting cow dung, because we were taught how cow dung pollutes our environment if left in the open.”
Since November 2022, Namaddu has been working hard to build her business from the ground up. In her latest update, she shared that she has been making at least four jerrycans of liquid manure a week, bringing her total profits to 200,000 ugx a week (roughly $53 USD). As her village, Rusenke, lacks fertile land, Namaddu’s liquid manure business has brought in many loyal customers. The steady income fills her with optimism:.
“I am very excited because I know I can make money, and have paid my children’s school fees in time for the first time. I am no longer the useless woman I thought I was before.”
Looking back on the impact of WEA and UWWI’s COVID & Climate Resilience Training, Namaddu’s shared that,
“Life has never been the same for me since November. I have had an opportunity to travel out of my village, and train another 25 women who have also started different businesses of their own to make a living.
As we speak now, I am no longer ‘Namuddu the Widow’, but ‘Namuddu, the Trainer, Businesswoman and Entrepreneur!’
Today, I am the secretary of a women’s saving group, something that I am sure would not have happened if I did not meet [WEA and UWWI].
You have transformed me into a new Namuddu. Thank you so much UWWI and WEA for building my capacity and confidence.”