THE STORY OF JUSTINE CHELANGAT – SIPI FALLS, UGANDA

We live in a mountainous region. Due to the high altitude we have a cold climate with uniform high rainfall. Our land is blessed with fertile volcanic soil.

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My name is Justine Chelangat and I am 34 years old. I am a Ugandan by Nationality and Sabiny by tribe. I live in Tulolwo Village in the Chema Parish, located in Kapchorwa District in Uganda. I am born in 1982 in a family of 8 Children. In 1991 I joined Primary one at Sipi Primary School. Seven years later I sat for my Primary Seven at Gamatui Primary School. Thereafter I joined senior one in 1998 and I completed Senior Four later in 2001 at Sipi Senior Secondary School.

In 2004 I got married to James Chesang. My husband is also from the Sipi area. I am currently a blessed woman with 4 beautiful daughters.  We are part of the Sabiny  community, a community which is famous for its traditional welcoming lifestyle.

I got a professional certificate in tailoring in 2005 and worked as a tailor in my village for five years from 2005-2010.

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In my region coffee farmers grow their coffee with passion. They love what they do so very much. We live in a mountainous region. Due to the high altitude we have a cold climate with uniform high rainfall. Our land is blessed with fertile volcanic soil.  The region has beautiful sceneries with numerous waterfalls among which the famous the Sipi Falls.

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In 2010 I joined the Kawacom Sipi Project as a Nursery Manager. I am very proud of this position. As a Nursery Manager, I plan my work with my team for the whole month. We then assign every person in the department to work on specific activities and submit it for approval to the Project Manager. Every morning at 8:00 am we start working in the nursery. We enjoy doing this job. We produce organic coffee seedlings, which we sell at subsidized prices to our farmers. We also propagate and multiply agroforestry tree species that we distribute free of charge to our farmers to protect and maintain our climate. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) verifies and certifies our Nurseries.  I am very happy that I got the opportunity to work as a nursery manager at the Kawacom Sipi Project.

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In 2004 I started coffee farming. I had six years of experience in managing a coffee plot when I joined the Kawacom Sipi Project in 2010. At the Kawacom Sipi Project I acquired more skills in how to manage coffee in a efficient and economical way. We use Tethonia plants and Tefroshia leaves mixed with cow dung and allow it to decompose for two weeks before applying it to the coffee. This is an excellent way of pests and disease management. The project has also built my skills on Good Agricultural Practices in coffee.

Next to my job as nursery manager I am still a coffee farmer. I have acquired more coffee plots. The variety I produce and harvest in my farm is the Arabica varieties of SL14 and SL28.

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At my home I have been able to construct a biogas plant which has since benefitted in so many ways to get light at my home, free gas for cooking, free bio-slurry that I apply to my coffee and banana trees as manure. I have also opened a poultry unit at by backyard and I am currently introducing a piggery project at my home.

My region is blessed with fertile volcanic soils, sufficient rainfall distributed throughout the year and mountains.  In some locations the altitude goes up to 2000 masl. Thanks to these conditions we grow the best quality Arabica in Uganda.  Due to the construction of the Sipi Falls Central Wet Processing Station by Kawacom Ltd. the farmers have the opportunity to focus on growing high quality organic coffee and are planting more coffee. All our coffee cherries are processed in the Sipi Falls Central Wet Processing.

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As a Nursery manager, I would like to continue producing more quality coffee seedlings in our central Nurseries such that we together improve the coffee volumes in my region. We also want to multiply more agroforestry tree species in our nurseries to provide these for free to our farmers in order to combat climate change. As a manager in my unit, I would like to represent my co-workers to the management in the Project to discuss good working conditions for them. I get enough time to concentrate on my work in the Nursery and supervise my workers this has helped me to perform better at work.

The Sipi Falls Central Wet Processing has greatly helped me to save a lot of time and money for pulping. Am proud to sell all my cherry to the factory.

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My personal ambition is to finish the construction of our house that we have already started. Further I want all my Children to go in better schools.

In my professional life it is my ambition is to continue producing more and more quality coffee seedlings because it is still a long way to go in improving coffee volumes coming at Sipi Falls wet Processing station.

Goals For This Project