Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network

Village Science and its impact on the world of citizens, by Martin Kayondo, aged 17


In Uganda,village science is highly believed in mostly in most of the villages especially in the Ganda and in the northern part of the country.Village science includes the use of herbs and myths-magic to solve some of the problem affecting the people of the country.

Most people have use this system just because of the belief they have in it and because of the ancestral example shown to them.

Most of the people believe in this science to the extent of failing to go to hospitals for medication when they fall sick and instead they go and search for herbs in the bush and in some aspects,they even reach the extent of believing that the sicknesses result from witchcraft and hence they believe some diseases can be healed after going to witchdoctors.

Several examples of village science include;

1.People believe that dropping human urine in a sick ear can heal it!

2.People believe that if someone loses a beloved one and he fails to dig around the tomb atleast every month,then the soul of the deceased will soon return to punish him/her.

3.People believe that black jack juice(sere in Luganda) heals wounds!

4.Many people who have AIDs have failed to got the hospital for medication and instead they go to witch doctors to seek help and eventually,they die.

5.Did you know that when a baby is born here in the Ganda,after some months, he is taken to the witch or any elder to see whether it has big teeth(ebinnyo in Luganda) so that they are removed.Here they try to cut the gums of the young and they let some blood ooze from there and that there it will be done!!!!!!

6.Our elders in Kyamulama village-Lyantonde district don’t irrigate their crops that if they irrigate them, they won’t have a share of they i.e they will either be stolen or they will sell it of unknowingly!

7.They also believe that a certain plant roots called mululuuza in Luganda cures malaria. (See picture above)

8.What about concentrated acid curing toothache?Did you know that they also believe that?

Village science wouldn’t have been so bad since it worked for our ancestors and in some aspects it is still working but the extent at which it is believed in has become more dangerous resulting in death of people.  However,this is not the way a hen is dressed,there are still options to take despite the fact that people don’t accept and they take everything to be ancestral.

Village science is still dominating in villages since people of the town have at least been to school and now know that diseases have causes and how to prevent them in order to be secure but in some instances, it is very hard to explain to a villager that there are germs that cause diseases yet since he/she was born, she had never heard of such a thing.This has become a problem resulting from illiteracy and arrogance where by many people never went to school to learn some science and so at their age, they must believe in what they saw when they were still young.

However,although some parents in these disadvantaged areas have tried to take their children to school,they still can’t believe in what their children tell them about what they learn and this is because culturally, it is not allow for the young to go against the elders’ knowledge.And some one who does so is said to be indisciplined.More so someone who tries to advise the elders is said to be ‘touching in their mouths’.So, to show a sign of respect, young ones must still listen to their elders and continue to believe in village science like their elders do. But all this taking the young ones to a false direction and in the wrong run,children and their future shall still die and from there, we pose a question;where shall we end with the impacts of village science arising from the ignorance and arrogance of our parents?

Getting back to the children themselves,they can’t stand to believe some circumstances that arise in their lives and so they still believe in magic and herbs despite the fact that they have gone to school.The whole of this does not stand on education but to fight village science,we can only begin from education and because there are a few educated people in the villages and the educated ones don’t believe in themselves,then the question shall stand still.

Observing the dependence rate of children on their parents, it is very clear that most of the children in Uganda are still depending on their parents especially financially and so it is very hard for them to ‘manipulate’ them behind the truth of advising.For example, many children get their school fees from their parents and in areas of UPE (Universal Primary Education) and USE (Universal Secondary Education), still the children’s scholastic materials are bought by the parents, many children are still fed daily by their parents,many children sleep in their parents’ houses and to the worst,some children depend on their parents in everything. Therefore,this create fear among the children and they lose the ability to talk to their parents about the dangers of village science and hence the issue shall still remain!

Surprisingly, the whole of the wrath is rotating on parents, who were also taught by their parents and they believe they are teaching future parents!  The journey is still very long and we need to find a solution to the growing issue of village science.

However, there are many solutions to the problem only that we have not talked about them the truth is that better communication and internet will be the key