For Ali, his journey to growing his own was inspired by the love of his great grandfather; Mustapha Mumbala who himself was a champion farmer.
His gardens were often visited and enjoyed by British officials during the colonials times. He even received a letter from Daudi Chwa II, King of the Buganda kingdom in 1937 to congratulate him on his incredible work.
Ali’s grandfather, Mustapha Mumbala who himself was a champion farmer.
”Due to climate change there is an urgency to restore the earth and achieve resilience among households, communities and organisations. Growing healthy food is very important in our design system for livelihoods.Ali TebandekePeace December Uganda
Today, Ali looks to inspire others with his whole earth philosophy that brings together the love of the land, his country, his understanding of sustainable land management and his passion for people and community.
His grassroots project, Peace December Uganda, enables him to empower others. Working in his community, Ali looks to help local small-scale urban farmers acquire the skills and knowledge they need to protect their livelihoods, by introducing them to a new mindset – one that works with nature, and one that has the potential to help transform how they farm and why.
Uganda is a country where 83% of the population live in rural areas and are dependent upon the land for their livelihoods. These small scale farms are the very backbone of Ugandan life but the land is changing and many of the traditional crops that once would have sustained communities are failing to meet growing demands as farming across Uganda is almost entirely rain-fed, making it more susceptible to extreme weather conditions.
The effects of climate change are being felt across the entire continent of Africa and Uganda in the east is no exception. The challenge now is to help farmers and communities protect themselves against these changes by giving them the opportunity to better manage the land so that they can improve their livelihoods and conserve the environment as well.
”The ultimate goal of farming is not growing of crops but the cultivation and perfection of human beingsMasanobu FukuokaFather of Modern Day Natural Farming
Ali, with the Peace December Uganda project is hoping to bring a new way of thinking to small-scale urban farmers in both Butambala where he has his learning centre and in Nateete where he helps improve life for the urban farmers that live in the ghettos and suburbs of Kampala.
Working at a community level, Ali strives to increase awareness of the issues facing farmers caused by soil erosion and degradation as well as climate-related instances such as drought by introducing them to a new approach to growing their own food. One that encompasses the principals of permaculture to deliver not just greater yields but a greater variety of food and fruit to safeguard their future.
Ali recognises that in order for communities to thrive, proper land management techniques are essential, along with the provision of life skills that can improve opportunities for the countries youth.
The Peace December project is already having a positive impact on people’s lives as urban gardens that were started just three months ago are already bursting with a diverse range of plants that will help the community achieve not just food security, but improve nutrition and incomes too.
As permaculture is both regenerative and restorative it helps to conserve and protect the soil, bringing life back to the once parched land, allowing biodiversity to flourish and improve the lives and livelihoods of all those involved.
For Ali the benefits of growing your own food are to achieve abundance, secure peace, create sustainable and healthy lifestyles to nurture what we call home.
Find out more and connect with Ali Tebandeke and the Peace December Project.