ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

Update June 19, 2020

Greetings to you all,

I hope this finds you well. It has been just over 80 days since we first discovered Covid 19 in Uganda. Throughout this time we have registered over 741 confirmed cases and 400+ people have been able to recover. We have been very fortunate to have not registered any deaths directly from Covid 19.  Sadly we have seen some notable cases of police brutality related issues. As a nation we are still struggling to curb the rate of new infections as they have grown wild since the lift of the partial lockdown. The authorities are still encouraging people to wear masks especially in public, keep social distance and also observe 7PM curfew. 

Due to the lifting of some of the lockdown measures, the government has decreased their food relief distribution efforts. Whereas the lifting of the lockdown is notable, a number of businesses are not allowed to open due to regulations concerning social distancing. This inhibits the majority of the population especially the ones in the informal sector where the majority of our Mamas reside. This has pushed some of our Mamas to start rethinking and restrategizing in their directions of business. 

This week we yet again reached out to our Mama Nguvu partners:

Regardless of the lockdown and subsequent lifting of lockdown business for Christine N has been good. The chickens are laying more eggs. She took some of her trays of eggs for hatching and this was really good because she aims at enlarging her farm. She had been interested in piggery farming for a while now and this week she had found someone selling a very good breed of piggies. She previously had a pig stall but it had been broken down. I asked her to rehabilitate the house and make it habitable for the piggies then we would talk more about acquiring some for her. She said she could have it done in a few days, so I await her call. 

Unfortunately for Annet, transportation has been a big challenge. She lives quite far from her town of Kyengera, where her restaurant services are undertaken. The inadequate transport has hindered her movement to go and check on her property in town. This is the property we helped her acquire late last year as she opened up her business in town. Annet said that she spoke on the phone with the woman who owns the shop and she assured her that the items are safe. Other than that her second business is picking up good as more people are returning into the trading center, so it’s good. 

“I think my time is up here!” Rovence said “I have worked in this business for a long time and I think I am tired and I need to change. I need to find something more relaxed than cooking.”

 Ever since the lockdown was lifted the business is up and down because not many people can afford to buy food like they used to. Rovence is now thinking about an alternative business where she won’t need to expose herself to a lot of heat and too much movement delivering food. Maybe a shop of some kind, maybe an electrical shop but says it might require a lot of cash to start up.

This lockdown hasn’t been good for Jennifer N. Jennifer sells shoes in one of the shopping arcades in town. The challenge is that these arcades are packed with people all the time and there is such difficulty in keeping social distance. This forced the government not to reopen these buildings and hence the difficulty that Jennifer is facing. She has been having difficulties feeding her 3 kids, so I sent her 35,000/- Uganda shillings to help her buy a few food stuffs for her family.

Regardless of the fact that the rains haven’t been falling in Mitiyana, Prossy L’s piggies are doing well and have grown bigger. The rains haven’t fallen in about a month so the grounds have been dry so not much in the garden to supplement the feeding. It is expected that we might have some rains soon until the end of July. We hope this can help the garden flourish to supplement feeding because the piggies will be ready to be pregnant soon. 

On Saturday 13th June, Francoise was able to make it home. After many months away from her family, she was able to make it home in time for her medication. Francoise had run out of medication but she was still stuck in the village where she was, when the first lockdown was initiated. She had been stuck for about 3months at that time. It was really good that she finally made it home. Only that this came with the last stroke to Jolly’s business that had to close. She sent the money to help her mother return home, a sacrifice worth making. I was quite disappointed that the business closed too soon. I hoped that she would have contacted me when she found means of transport. Maybe I would have sent her some transport and saved the business. I envisioned that maybe if Jolly kept her business and her mother continued with her own maybe the home would have been better. 

Finally this week I also decided to engage in some kind of farming. This is majorly caused by our inability to move easily to buy food and other vegetables. I had to come up with a new way of creating sustainability for myself too.

I spoke to my landlady and she allowed me to prepare a small garden in front of my house. I tilled the land but the soil wasn’t as good. I then called a friend who helped me get some black soil from the garden. I brought it home but it was a little dry so I have spent the last two days trying to dump it with water. I will contact our Mama Christine who keeps chicken to collect me some chicken dump to add to the garden as fertilizer. Then I will go to a seedling place to buy vegetables for planting.

I am really excited about the garden as it’s already looking good even before I plant. I hope the output turns out to be good too. Keeping my fingers crossed for this project. This is another technique that maybe I can share with our Mamas so they can try to grow quick and easy food for themselves. Anyways the week wasn’t bad except the part where Jolly had to close her business. 

I want to take this opportunity again to thank all our dear partners for all the support you have given to us. Thank you for believing in what we do in our community here. We are encouraged by all your feedback when you comment and share our blogs. 

Yours sincerely 

Andrew Echel

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