Greetings to you all!
Week 6 of the lockdown and we have now 101 cases of Covid 19 registered, with majority being truck drivers. Statistics show that about 53 of these cases are Ugandan locals and the majority being foreign cargo truck drivers who have been intercepted in transit driving goods through Uganda to the neighbouring countries. It is because of this rise in cases that the lockdown had to be extended starting 6th May 2020 for another two weeks so until 20/05/2020 when it expires.
The most disturbing case this week had been the one where a Local defence unit (local police) killed two people at close range. This was caught on one of the street cameras; the video clips shows the local police interacting with them and then he removes the safety and shoots them both and kills them on the spot. The deceased were husband and wife, locals from a district called Masaka, coming out of a clinic or medical facility after receiving an antenatal because the woman was pregnant. It turns out that the gentleman riding the motorcycle was actually a local leader referred to as Local Council Leader.
Of course the government as usual has denied any involvement but has promised to look into the case because two innocent people have been killed by an individual who doesn’t or didn’t understand his role or job. The local police were enrolled to help enforce the lockdown, ensure that people stay at home in their house and also increase security but some of the interactions with these enforcers has not resulted in good endings like these. This type of violence I believe has been caused by the government trying to create employment opportunities, enrolling people but not adequately training them to handle crowds and such incidents. All the media houses are covering this case, but all in all we have lost this couple in an avoidable circumstance.
Otherwise, the week was going to remain uneventful because most of the people were staying home except the new batch of individuals the president deemed to be essential including carpenters, metal works people, mechanics, insurance people and lawyers who he allowed to go to work but using only bicycles and motorcycles and not other means. The road blocks are still present and effective in helping to reduce the infection rates within the community and the nation at large.
On the other hand this week I worked with about 5 of our Mama Nguvu recipients in trying to set them up to create sustainable business for them even in this season.
Hadijja N, our formerly successful bar and chips business owner, has a desire to start out a charcoal stall. Today I sent her 250,000/- to help her start out a business to sustain her business. Erika and I have had discussions on how to help her start a business and we agreed that by sending her this money we create an opportunity for business. We as ISEE Solutions believe that doing this helps create an innovation of a kind so that Mamas can remain proactive and effective in trying to change their situation. We have realized that some of these Mamas are more industrious and they look at opportunities rather than just handouts. So as ISEE Solutions, we try and empower them.
Annet C, another Mama who formerly owned a salon, now has the desire to start a vegetable stall to support her family. This is because salons too have been stopped from operating as the government thinks there is a lot of contact with people, which is a risk for the spread of the virus. We spoke about her needs to start and then we organized some funds for her to sell vegetables. She requested for funds to help her buy more vegetable supplies and produce to add to her new stall. Annet says according to the demand from the people, she would like to add these items to improve her stall . So we sent her some money to help her acquire these items and help grow her business.
Annet N, is our mama who we helped start a local business that sells porridge, tea and breakfast porridge. She requested that we help her increase capital. She says that her demand is big so she asked us to support her business because she didn’t have enough capital to increase production. She says most of her profits coming was being deferred to daily meals thereby limiting reinvestment. Her desire is to cook more because, at the moment, she was not cooking enough so she closed early because business items were done. It’s upon this that we decided to help her financially to increase her sales in the hope that she can make more and feed her family too.
Salute S, teacher by profession, has been working on the side making popcorn and other snacks. She has been doing snacks since the schools closed. She said that she wasn’t doing well, but believes that selling or adding vegetables like tomatoes and onions might help improve the situation.
Jolly B.A, one of the daughters of our Mama Nguvu candidates, is taking on the responsibility to start a business to sustain her siblings. She is going to try snacks to help them start a business to generate an income so they buy food but also to sustain them as their mother figures out a way to return home.
This week we managed to help these Mamas set up their own small enterprises in the hope that they can produce more for their families, to get food and basic needs during these Covid 19 times. The streets and roads continue to remain closed for the public and most of our Mamas struggle to sustain their families and businesses. Our hope is to continue to help them survive but also help those with other ideas to generate income. Our objective as ISEE still remains the same, to eliminate poverty and reduce its effect on their lives and the families.
Thank you all who continue to read and support ISEE Solutions Society in helping create a better world that we want to create for all our Mamas.
Thank you, webale nnyo, apwoyo matek, asante saana….