Lango Web

The Cultural Site of Lango, Northern Uganda

Presentations by Professionals

This section contains the following presentations:


Environmental Sanitation by Dr Oku-Oleng


Alternative HIV Treatment  by Dr Mike Ogwal 


Entrepreneurship Development in Lango by Adam Odwar


Post-Harvest technologies as a means of improving Food Security and Household Incomes in Lango Sub-region, by Grace Aluoch Ocheng


Comprehensive Approach for Sustainable Social Change, by Margaret Opio


Dr Oku-Oleng

Environmental Sanitation by Dr Oku-Oleng


Environmental sanitation is the prevention and control of diseases by eliminating environmental factors which may form links in disease transmission. It is the practice of preventing health through hygiene. Sometimes it is understood in a narrow sense as collection and treatment of waste water. In a broader sense Environmental Sanitation includes: - Housing and Public Places Sanitation; Water Supply Sanitation; Food Sanitation; Excreta and Sewerage Sanitation; Solid Waste or Garbage Disposal; Insect and Vermin Control; and Environmental Protection.


Environmental Sanitation is important because it promotes Health, prevents disease transmission, eliminates breeding places for insects and vermin that carry germs; and it improves quality of life.


The prerequisite of health are many and environmental sanitation is just one of them. Examples of the other prerequisites are peace, education, income, stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equality.



Recommendations from Dr Oku Oleng�s presentation


(a)    Every household in rural Lango sub region should have: adequate housing; safe water preferably from ground springs, wells and boreholes; human waste disposal via simple pit latrines; food sanitation measures; garbage or solid waste disposal via dug pits; and eradication measures for insects and Vermin.


(b)    A multi disciplinary approach is proposed in with respect to mobilizing resources for ensuring effective environmental sanitation in Lango. It is further proposed that a Population Health Forum or Committee be formed , composed of health professionals, administrators, political leaders, opinion leaders, students, women and men of the sub region to develop strategies to implement, advocate and maintain the proposal to take this forward. Such a forum could also be charged with additional responsibility of raising awareness about other issues of population health and determinants of health.


Dr Mike Ogwal

Alternative HIV Treatment by Dr Mike Ogwal


Complementary & alternative therapies or medicine include those medical practices that fall outside conventional Western medicine. Examples: aromatherapy which uses essential oils, which are inhaled or rubbed on the skin; herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals, traditional medicines, probiotics, amino acids and essential fatty acids., nutrition, massages, oxygen & ozone therapy, flower remedies, therapeutic touch, spiritual/faith healing and many more. Most of these alternative healing practices are not only available in Uganda, but can also be used concurrently with conventional medicine.


The devastating effects of the high prevalence (>8%) of HIV/AIDS in the Lango Sub-region continue to be felt on general reduction on the population group of ages 15-45, reduced labour capacity, loss of income earners, decreased economic growth, increase in the number of orphans, strain on the health sector, failing school system, changes in household structure, emotional impact, stigmatization and reduced life expectancy.


The HIV/AIDS effects in Lango are compounded by a number of factors including:


           Low Patient-to-health personnel (Patient to doctor: 65,000: Patient to nurse: 4,700:1; Patient to midwife: 13,400:1; Patient to medical assistant: 26,500:1; Patient to dentist: 196,000:1 in Lira district and patient-to-doctor ratio is 112, Apac district respectively. There are only 10 Langi physicians in Lira, serving a population of 757,763 people, and only 6 physicians, providing medical services to 676,244 people in Apac District.


           Shortage of drugs: The drugs (AZT) which is now available for free in Uganda, even though it does not cure HIV/AIDS, is not reaching all the 114,720 or more people HIV positive Langi.


           Insecurity in the region. LRA attacks are still going on in some parts of Lango, especially in the country side, (villages) despite the on going peace talks in Juba. As a result, the deliveries of services become restricted to the towns.


           Total breakdown in the school system due to insurgency in the region. Education is considered a major and effective vehicle in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS.


           IDPs camps in Lango Sub-region. These camps have become a breading ground for HIV/AIDS and a serious threat to the population of Lango Sub-region.  


           Suspension of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Uganda has hit Lango Sub-region hard.


In an attempt to mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS, outreach services have been established in many sites like. Despite the above interventions however, the majority of the population, especially children/young people and even pregnant mothers fail to attain services and death rates due to HIV/AIDS continue to rise.



Recommendations from Dr Ogwal�s presentation:


(a)    International Funding Agencies such as the Global Fund, America's PEPFAR initiative, UNAIDS/WHO, UNICEF, etc, should consult with Lango Association, treat and partner with Lango Association (LA) in a fight against HIV/AIDS. LA is a registered international NGO with a high reputation, and a heart for the suffering Langi people and should be accorded equal treatment and Funded just like other NGOs working in Lango Sub-region.


(b)    LA should be sufficiently funded and entrusted with the responsibility to identify qualified 50 Langi A-level candidates/graduates for training as medical doctors and 50 Makerere Langi graduates for training as lecturers, all to be trained overseas during the next 5 years. The candidates should sign a contract with LA to return home and work in Lango hospitals and Universities.


(c)    LA should be sufficiently funded to build two full scale non-government-controlled Lango Universities and 2 colleges/technical institutes in Lira & Apac Districts during the next 5 years.


(d)    LA should be sufficiently funded to build four additional non-government controlled hospitals (2 in each District) with at least 300 beds in the next 5 years.


(e)    There is a serious food shortage (food insecurity & malnutrition) in the two Districts. LA should be funded to raise awareness world wide and collect emergency food supplies (grains and flours & seeds) enough at least to cover for 2 growing seasons to be shipped to Lango Sub-region. Such Food Aids should target school children as well as AIDS patients. Malnutrition aggravates the severity of AIDS infection in HIV positive people.


(f)      Langi scientists should work closely with LA and seek international funding, and collaborate with other international researchers in developing, refining and mass-produce Complementary and Alternative Medicine for treatment of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, using natural resources available in Lango Land.  

Adam Odwar

Entrepreneurship Development in Lango by Adam Odwar


This is a proposal to establish a platform for gathering information on the sources and the allocation of resources to finance economic developments in the Lango sub-region of Uganda with the aim of reconstruction and improvement of the social and economic fiber which was less progressive due to wars, social and economic set-back of the sub-region compared to other regions of Uganda.


The vision is to reconstruct and enhance the living conditions within Lango sub-region through the effective local development visa vie trade and commercial activities. Building capacity and skills development is for private sector intervention will be the priority to address the economic reconstruction and, constraints in Lango sub-region.


The platform will become the central location to provide, information and advice in economic ideas.  This paper will become the infrastructure upon which Trade and Commercial activities will be promoted in the region, based on local, national and international policy agendum. There are three components to the Entrepreneurship Development in the Lango sub-region, Paper:


           Centre For Studies In Lango Development And Trade

           International Development Agencies Agendum

           Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) Diagnostic Program


Recommendations from Adam Odwar�s presentation


(a)    Set up the Centre for Lango Economic Development (CSLDT) in Lango

(b)    Develop Market for Lango Commodities with or without government support

(c)    Develop Network Internationally to encourage International Trade in Lango

(d)    Diversify Economic base from the traditional ones with the help of the CSLDT

(e)    Revisit Land Tenure Acts to preserve the Lango Tradinal Land Ownership

(f)      National and Regional Development Policies should address the desire of Langi

(g)    This could as well be considered as a Pilot Project for regional Development of Lango and Northern Uganda generally. 

Grace Ocheng

Post-Harvest technologies as a means of improving Food Security and Household Incomes in Lango Sub-region, by Grace Aluoch Ocheng,


Although Lango sub- region has fertile soils and good climate, it has more than 68.2% of households that are food insecure, and poverty levels remain high at approximately 53% (Household Survey 2006). Post harvest technologies must be emphasized and commercialized to target the abundant fruits and vegetables which are found in the region. This must be done hand in hand with environmental conservation and protection fruit trees which are usually cut for fuel.


Food security is basically defined as the access by all people in a given location to adequate food both in quantity and quality at all times. Food insecurity on the other hand portrays the lack of access to adequate food. In Lango Sub-region, a number of factors have led to food insecurity amongst which are; insurgency, cattle rustling, lack of improved agricultural technologies, poor inputs, disease and malnutrition all of which contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty.


Post harvest technologies involve the handling of farm products immediately after harvest to avoid loss through enzymatic spoilage and insect infestation. Post harvest technologies range from simple sun drying to complex processes like canning.


According to the national household survey (2006), poverty levels in Lango sub-region stand at 53% for those living below the relative poverty line, while 33% live in absolute poverty, and the region has one of the lowest income per capita levels of roughly Ushs 170,000 per annum.


The health and nutritional status in the region is equally appalling especially in those areas greatly affected by insurgency, and in the internally displaced people�s camps. These highlighted issues lead to the vicious cycle of poverty which can only be broken by specific issues like post harvest technologies


The economy of the region is based on agriculture which is mainly subsistence farming. Animal husbandry and fish farming are on the rise. Strategic objectives to improve food security and household incomes must include access to credit, jobs, improved agricultural techniques and post harvest technologies. The best investment is agro based industries which will process the abundant foods and create jobs and markets for raw materials, and also reduce loss and wastage of farm produce.


Recommendations from Grace Ocheng�s paper


(a)    In order to address the food insecurity and poverty in Lango sub-region, investment must be done in specific post harvest technologies to process the diverse and abundant foods in the area, especially fruits which are wasted during peak seasons yet they are high income earners.

(b)    It is also important to avail markets for these products to ensure sustainability of the food security and household incomes.

Margaret Opio

Comprehensive Approach for Sustainable Social Change, by Margaret Opio


Currently the Lango sub-region is experiencing insecurity, lack of infra-structure, disempowerment and emotional trauma among others.The population in Uganda as a whole, including the leadership live in expectations and for this; we look towards the western world. The reconstruction of an area that has been unsettled and whose people have been traumatised over such a long period of time as the Lango region of Northern Uganda has experienced, requires a comprehensive approach to change.


A comprehensive approach to social change should tackle the root causes of our current problems rather than working from downstream treating symptoms. It should provide a direction and new possibility for breaking through the inter-generational cycle of war, poverty, hopelessness, and dependence.  It should restore peace of mind, health, wealth and unity within the Lango community and peace and unity with all our neighbours.


An important aspect of this strategy would be to recognise nature, harness and utilise the resources we already have.


The pre-requisite for enabling the people resource and to achieving sustainable social change is to tackle Mindsets. Mindsets,  also referred to as learned or conditioned habit of thinking is a psychological bondage- a way of thinking and perceiving ourselves, other people and other things- that has been acquired over time; as a result of conditioning, and/or exposure to negative or traumatic experiences. Mindset is the No.1 destroyer of the fabric of society. 


People can create and people can destroy, depending on their thought processes- how they see themselves, other people, other things and the world.  And yet everyone has a natural ability to create, to have a peace of mind and to relate better. It is these natural abilities and qualities that we need to focus on getting people to re-engage.



Recommendations from Margaret Opio�s paper


(a) Priority should be given to the development of the �People Resource� through:


(i)              Mindsets -Tackling the issue of mindsets - psychological approaches to change.


(ii)            Children and young people -Preserving and nurturing the natural potential and creativity in all children and young people.


(iii)           Education - Putting in place an Education system for the 21st Century and beyond, that recognises the children�s natural ability to learn, and nurtures their creative ability.


(iv)          Health - Adopting a whole life approach to health

(v)            Poverty - Increasing the variety of crops grown and creating local industries. We need to reduce over reliance on external aid and donations


(vi)          Environment - Preserving our environment- We are indivisible from our environment, what we do to the environment we are doing to ourselves.


(vii)  Peace - The responsibility for long lasting peace, love and prosperity rests on each and every individual to acquire the state of mind that consistently enhances love, peace and prosperity.


(vii) Open up the world-It is vital that we open up lines of communication between people at the grassroots in the sub-region, region and national with the masses/grassroots abroad, e.g. in the U.K. This will help in exposure of human rights abuses as well as open up opportunities and choices to the people at the grassroots.


(b) For a meaningful development in the Lango sub-region, it is essential that we develop an amicable, complimentary; synergistic relationship with all our neighbours.


(c) For sustainable social change, it is essential that Government takes responsibility for and respects the life and human rights of its citizens and maintain law, order and peace for all its citizenry.


(d) Unproductive/disempowering interference by external governments should be minimised.


(e) The solutions outlined above and others to be identified should be carried out in a structured way through Community Capacity Building projects (CCB)

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