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Rwenzori research guru signs off

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th April 2008 03:00 AM

ON March 3, the ruthless arm of death grabbed one of the pillars of development in the Rwenzori region. Monik Adriaens was a research technical officer with the Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network (SATNET) in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kasese, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo.
She was cremated on March 7

ON March 3, the ruthless arm of death grabbed one of the pillars of development in the Rwenzori region. Monik Adriaens was a research technical officer with the Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network (SATNET) in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kasese, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo.
She was cremated on March 7

By Bizimungu Kisakye

ON March 3, the ruthless arm of death grabbed one of the pillars of development in the Rwenzori region. Monik Adriaens was a research technical officer with the Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network (SATNET) in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kasese, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo.
She was cremated on March 7 at Shree Hindu Union Crematorium, off Lugogo bypass.

Adriaens was a strong pillar for development in Rwenzori, spearheading and successfully implementing various projects in the fight against malaria.
Before her death, she s campaigned against the use of DDT by the Government under the Malaria Control Programme particularly in western Uganda.

As the director, of Tooro Botanical Gardens, Monik promoted the use of the Artemisia drug and other organic sprays as a control measure to prevent and cure malaria.

She carried out research and wrote about the disease and its prevention.
In one of her books entitled “Malaria Vector Control Without DDT: Sustainable Alternatives, co-authored with her husband Rudy Lemmens, Adriaens argued that the debate on the use of DDT should be looked at in a wider context, putting into consideration its economic and environmental implications.

Adriaens explores the use of unfriendly chemicals and the potential threat they pose on the fishing trade in Lake Victoria.
At the time of her death, Adriaens had also authored a book on Family Medicinal Plant Gardens in the Rwenzori Region.

The book has a list of plants Rwenzori residents could use as medicinal plants like; katungurucumu (garlic), enkkorutanga (cape aloe), niimu (neem) and ipapaali (pawpaw).

Others are kalifuha (lemon grass) and omutoma (bark cloth fig). At about the same time, she had completed formal consultations with the local people on the indigenous practices and management of goats and cattle.

According to Prof. Edward Rugumayo, the chairperson of Tooro Botanical Gardens, Adriaens and her husband Rudy introduced many plant species in the botanical gardens obtained from different areas of the Albertine Rift.

The Rev. Canon Nason Baluku, the chairman, SATNET, said Adriaens was behind the transfer of the Pepperoni Factory from Kampala to Fort Portal.

“Her last trip outside Uganda was to South Africa where she went to familiarise herself with the entire process of pepperoni growing and marketing,” he said. Elias Baluku, the SATNET communication and advocacy officer, Adriaens was planning to write another book on organic management of animals.

Born on June 06, 1954 in Belgium, Adriaens left her country in 2003. Since then, she has lived in Uganda where, as SATNET’s research technical officer, she dedicated her efforts and talents promoting herbal medicine and environmental conservation in western Uganda.

During her funeral service at the Tooro Botanical Gardens in Fort Portal, Adriaens was described as a friendly, committed and selfless person, a mother with exceptional experience and skills.

“She was a person who loved people irrespective of their colour, religious and political inclination. She loved all creation. She bridged the gap between Europe and Africa, and Uganda, in particular,” said Prof. Rugumayo.

“Adriaens was an activist and promoter of the use of Artemisia as an alternative in the control of malaria. We shall carry on with her work as a way of honouring her services with us,” Meth Kasukaali, the SATNET coordinator, said.

“Her wealth of experience, knowledge and ideas in various areas, mostly the herbal and organic sectors, will be missed. Most importantly, during this moment,” said Baluku.

“We will remember her strong commitment to a more sustainable and organic agricultural development, promotion of herbal medicine and for the improvement of the situation of the rural poor in Uganda,” said Vandeput Jan, the Belgian Consul to Uganda, in a statement.

For her contribution to changing the lives of the poor, Adriaens will always be remembered.

Rwenzori research guru signs off

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