Greetings to you all,
I hope that you have all been keeping well.
It looks like the rains have returned in Uganda. We have had three days of constant rain, raining for at least 3hrs non-stop which slows down everything and majorly impacts transportation. The roads are so bad, especially the access roads that reach our Mamas. It’s like walking in a campsite with mud and water everywhere. I have had to wear boots to be comfortable, especially the days I had to reach Asia and Pulakiseda because these Mamas both lead their businesses within the market.
This week on Wednesday His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will be sworn in for the sixth time. I actually got to learn recently that “Yoweri” translates as “Joel” in English. He was born at a time when the current education system had not been extended to the villages where he grew up. In trying to pronounce Joel, the local people made it easier by calling him Yoweri.
There is speculation that the opposition might cause some disturbance, so the military has been deployed at key places where they have intelligence that trouble might come from. This is aimed at protecting both people and property of people, especially shops that can be vandalized during riots. I don’t expect that this will happen but anything is possible. The deployment is to ensure also that the invited dignitaries feel safe or are protected in case anything happens. People!
This previous week I established Asia’s boost and visited Pulakiseda N, Prossy L and also Hadijja N. I followed up Harriet L who had failed to get a proper shop, Gertrude N of the stationary and Irene of the salon by phone.
Hadijah N. is doing okay and the business is doing fine except for the fact that the up-coming swearing-in ceremony has caused the police to enforce curfew and now they have to close business earlier than usual. The police and military have been deployed to places like the trading center where Hadijah fries her chips, so she has been greatly affected. Let us hope that this goes away quickly because it has affected all businesses.
She still holds her plans to reopen her bar business and she is only waiting to get clearance from the government to reopen bars. She opened a bar business in 2018-2019 and it had a tremendous impact on her income, so much so that she managed to pay off some really heavy personal debts. The closure of these types of businesses really affected people like Hadijah. Hadijah has a very beautiful 18-month old baby who is growing like crazy and Hadijah is worried that she might not be able to push her to school. She already has two older children who she is supporting with her chips business. The reopening of bars will help reduce the pressure on her and her husband who is a boda driver. He is a very supportive husband but does not earn much, so they need her business to reopen soon.
I then traveled to see Prossy L in Mitiyana. She is doing well except that she has had a few health issues with her daughter and herself. Her daughter was admitted to hospital for about a week due to a malarial infection. The hospital bill was quite large but they managed to shift around some funds to pay it off.
On Prossy’s side, she had to visit the doctor because her feet are swelling. The doctor advised her to stop consuming meat which she says she hardly eats regardless. In addition to medication to help reduce the swelling, she was also advised to cook local herbs that would help reduce the toxins in her body. The herbs include leaves from the avocado tree, the mango tree and some other plants because apparently they will help to open up her blood veins and improve circulation. I encouraged her to get tight socks like footballing socks because they would help reduce the swelling in her feet.
Otherwise the pigs look really well and healthy, their coats are shiny and they look clean. The rains have helped boost feeding especially with the availability of the greens and grasses that also help treat the animals. She tries as much as she can not to give her animals boosters because she wants to raise them as organic as possible which is a good thing. She only gives them vitamins and deworming tablets which she often will mix in the feeds. She also took her mama pig to the male to try and get her pregnant because she was ready and also the ones she gave birth to recently are now fully grown and in a few months they will be ready for sale.
I was finalizing Rovence’s interview during the week so I made one last stop to get some more information and she was really happy. I am glad she was willing to share as much as she did. It was a nice thing. The business is still slow like it was the whole month and she is excited that the fast ends this week, so she can have her customers back.
I was invited to a birthday party for my nephew and I needed some vegetables to make a salad because my sister knows I am the best salad maker in the world — at least in her opinion. I went to see Pulakiseda who usually will help me buy these things because she knows the market well. Her shop is really strategically located so I dropped by to see her and see the goings-on in the shop. She is well and the shop looks good too. The sales have improved since finishing the road to the market and she was pitching me with another request to boost her shop.
Lastly, I spoke to Harriet who has really failed to get a well-located shop for her business. We have everything already in line for her but we are waiting for a good location. Her business is a very high budget business but the success of this type of business surely is dependent on good location. I spoke to her a bit and she is still on the hunt.
Gertrude N is not clear with her ideas so I don’t yet want to mention details but I will go see her this next week and assess this situation. Some people will not tell you anything until you go find them and talk in person. She was supposed to co-share or rent the space together with her brother so I want to follow that up.
We would like to say thank you as always for following what we do, it is always a pleasure hearing your feedback about the work we do. I look forward to continuing to bring you new stories every week as we continue to serve our community and our world. Please continue to stay safe in this new wave of the pandemic. Let’s keep fighting the spread of the virus. Stay Safe, Maintain Social Distancing but as the gospel has always been, let us stay sociable.
Director for Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society