Just a note from Erika: When all our lives started changing here in Kelowna on March 13th, I contacted Andrew to let him know that life would probably be changing for him as well. I was worried about his safety but also about the health of all our Mamas, who are very vulnerable due to poverty but also some who are immunocompromised. We sent Andrew money and asked him to stock up on dry goods for himself but we also sent money as an emergency fund for the Mamas to help them if they became ill because medical care in Uganda is not free. Money can be sent via mobile phone so Andrew would be able to send this money without needing to be in contact with the Mama who required it. Currently, we have no Mamas who have become ill with COVID but many Mamas who have required help as their source of income has come to a grinding halt since they can no longer travel to the larger markets to buy their produce to sell and traffic is limited to foot/bike traffic during daylight hours. Uganda is now up to 54 cases which is “not bad” but it is also facing an infestation of locust that is eating the crops that they have. The next few months will be very difficult for the majority of the population that survives day-to-day. Thank you for your continued interest in the amazing Ugandan people. Stay safe, stay physically distant but stay socially close. Here is Andrew’s weekly update and a photo of the strawberries from the plant on his front porch.
Greetings to you all,
We entered the official second week of quarantine and things have not changed. They are actually getting tighter especially with the lockdown situation in Uganda. We have made progress this curbing the spread these last few days as we have not registered any new cases in the last two days so the number remains at 52 infections and no death yet reported as per the talk show I was listening to this morning. As of this afternoon they actually released two people who have recovered from quarantine back to their homes. This is a bit of the good news but then looks like the situation might not change because they have now swapped Military police instead of traffic and ordinary police in the evening shift so that no one moves in the night. Some people are actually thinking that the lockdown will continue until the end of April as opposed to mid April as was first anticipated. The movement of boda bodas has also been restricted to 2pm so anyone who wishes to send or use them for delivery should do so before the end of 1pm because after 2pm none of them are allowed to move. Actually a couple of our Mamas are stuck in the villages away from their families like Francoise and Hamida that by off chance they had travelled to the village just before the lockdown was activated so there is no way they can travel back to their homes so I am monitoring their families close by every couple of days to see how they are doing and if they need support so we can send them some.
About our ISEE Solutions Society Mama Nguvu project, I have been in contact with most of them through phone calls as usual seeing how they are doing and hearing from them about their lives and families since the majority are not working because of the nature of their work. Some of them actually had secured enough food like Jane who bought 100kgs of Posho and beans and rice so she was telling me she has now gone through 30kgs already. They have adjusted to one meal a day except Francis who is not well.
Some others like Christine who is doing poultry now has eggs but almost has no one to sell them too. This came in a season when her chickens were stabilizing in laying can lay now up to 1.5 trays a day. She had 4 trays but couldn’t sell them and yet the chickens were running out of food so she got a boda boda for me and I bought the 2 trays. Just so that she is able to buy ingredients for the food for the chickens because she needs them to produce just in case this lockdown is over, her chickens are still laying some good eggs.
Then others like Annet, Hadijah, Dorah, Hamida, Angel, Lilly, Betty, Margaret and many others are all living one day at a time and we are helping them one by one to ensure that they can pull through this season. Thank you all for your support and thought towards our partners during this time when we much need them. We appreciate you all, your support in helping these mothers is what has helped some or even most of them to sustain themselves in this period let alone the normal.
Thank you again.