Greetings to you all again,
It has been week 5 of Ugandan lockdown across the country and not much has changed. The roads are still filled with people here and there especially at the markets as people go to look out for food. The streets are still empty as no cars are allowed within the city without permission, only trucks that carry food and agricultural produce are the only ones allowed on the roads but all other cars are being stopped by roadblocks and traffic police.
The situation has not improved much as we are now at 88 cases with the last 3 which were discovered yesterday where one was a truck driver from Kenya, the other was a Burundian citizen and the last one was a local gentleman so there is now a real fear that the disease could have infiltrated into the population. This wasn’t the case the last few weeks where everyone who was in quarantine was intercepted at the border and the airport.
Our community of Mamas is still fairing on as I continue in this pandemic that has every single one of us scared of what our future as a country and individuals will be. As most their businesses have shut down, we might go back to scratch after this season.
Christine N, our chicken mama, is doing well. The chickens continue to produce eggs for her and she was able to make 10 trays this past week. She also managed to find someone who was willing to buy them from her so that’s a good thing. She also wants to sell the baby chicks she has been raising to help her raise money to build another room to expand the chicken pen.
Sarah N, our goat mama, this past week lost a mother goat and her kid during birth. She said that nothing could have been done because she had done everything possible but this goat had complications and they both died. The rest of the goats are doing well, especially the goat that we got her who is still healthy and the house we built is still looking fine.
Apio D, our restaurant mama, is fully closed and couldn’t find or reach her husband who had driven some people on the Western side of this country and then the lockdown was activated before he could make it out. She had no food at the time we spoke so I extended her family some financial aid to help them buy some food to help them through the week.
Francoise L is recovering really well and responding well to the treatment she was and is getting. She sounds more relaxed and less tense during the conversation which is good for her health however her last bag of charcoal to sell was stolen so she is still a concern.
Lorna K, our knitting and tailoring mama, is doing okay. Of course no business but she was able to get relief food so this was good for her family because other families (Francoise’s family being one of them) wasn’t able to get food because they did not have National Identity cards. None of the girls and the boy had an Identity Card so they missed out on the food distribution.
Annet N, our restaurant mother who has a stall in town and another one next to where she lives, used to work and balance them as one opened in the morning for breakfast food and the one in town provided food for market vendors in the evening and at night. Since the closure of the town business, she has been having a hard time dealing with her food needs so she took some of the kids to the village so I am compelled to send her some money this week.
Annet C, our salon and decor mama, had her business closed down and has tried to use her front space to sell vegetables. She pulled out the tables from the salon and bought vegetables so she is trying to deal with that meanwhile as she waits for the lockdown to be lifted. She told me that it’s picking up slowly and she earns a bit to help them buy food here and there but also she eats some of the items as food so it’s good. I am thinking of sending her some money to help her boost the business a bit and buy some more items to add to the stall and expand her business for now.
Anna M, another salon mama, is doing okay. Her parents managed to keep her kids and they also sent her some food so she is fairing well and she waits for the lifting of the lockdown as she also looks for a new business location for her salon as she has been looking since before the lockdown.
Lilly A, a tailor who had been doing well for herself, is also on lockdown as her business doesn’t qualify as essential so has been up and down trying to find some food. She fell sick during this week but was able to get medication so it was a good thing and she is feeling better. She says it was ulcers so I encouraged her to eat her greens for now because she says it reacts a lot with beans.
Aida K, our chips mama, is doing okay. She has managed to be operational through this season. She is able to go to the main market to buy vegetables and puts them on a boda which delivers them to her stall. The plot on which she works on was sold off and the owners had issued her an eviction notice but thanks to the delay caused by this Covid 19, she has continued to serve the few customers on the street where she operates.
Amina A, a restaurant mama, is doing really fine especially with the food supply as she has had enough to at least last her 2 weeks for starters. She decided not to make Chapati this week as she had thought she would because the venture may not work as anticipated.
Maria A, with the piggery, is doing well though starting to get challenged with feeding the pigs especially now that she can’t get food from the restaurants that used to supply her food for the pigs.
Hadijja N, our chips and bar mama, is not doing well at all as most of her efforts have not worked and she can’t operate her business because its peak hours have been eliminated as she worked more effectively after 5pm. The lockdown curfew starts at 7pm so there is no-one to sell to even if she wanted. She wanted to buy charcoal and sell that but hasn’t had money to buy the charcoal for resale.
Hamida N, another poultry mama, managed to finally make it back home travelling on food trucks till she got home. The sad news is that her house floods so she found her booking receipts for the chickens she had to pick this month had been washed away by the flood waters. She has to now wait for the lockdown to lift to try and go to the sellers to see if they can help her track the receipts so she gets the chicks.
On the other hand there is news that this lockdown may be increased for another 10-14 days due to the new discovered cases of Covid 19 that have risen our numbers to 88 cases even though 54 have all recovered and the others that weren’t citizens have been deported back to their home countries. On the other hand, some rumours say that they might allow people to move and go back to work but with standard operating procedures to be issued for guidelines.
The biggest challenge for us as a nation is the fact that we are still letting truck drivers from neighbouring countries drive through our nation but the government is now designing a routine for them so that they can be tested and monitored. Other nations too like Tanzania have refused to activate lockdown so its presenting a huge risk of causing infections because of the fact that our borders are so fluid and people easily walk in and out, hence a high risk of infecting our population. We can only hope that the situation gets better even as we anticipate the lifting of the lockdown.