Greetings to you all,
I hope that you are well. For us here in Uganda, everything is normal. The weather has been surely good for us as we have received multi storms in the past few weeks. The food supply in the market has continued to stabilize as also prices continue to increase because of the increase in fuel prices across the globe. I am not sure what it looks like outside Uganda but now a litre of petrol and diesel both cost at least 6,080/- (approx. $5.52/l), this increase is more than double what we used to pay for just one a year ago. This I guess will continue until the war in Europe comes to an end but the economy of Uganda doesn’t seem to react normally to the laws of economics so I am not very thrilled to see if anything will change yet I remain optimistic.
This week’s events were more support and follow-up on some of the Mamas whose businesses have been struggling.
Prossy L. is one of our Mamas practicing piggery farming and my last visit with her last week was not very fulfilling. All the prior follow-ups were phone conversations and I didn’t get the chance to see the animals but this time I went down to the village of Mitiyana and I was not very excited to see the animals. Early this year, all farming Mamas were hit by the swine flu and most of the pigs didn’t make it; only a few piglets survived. Prossy was left with only four piglets and along with Henry her husband has been trying to raise them but with no success. They are too small for what they should be at the moment compared to her fellow Mamas. So this week, I have been working with another Mama called Maria to help Prossy rejuvenate. She gave us some tips and then agreed to buy, sort and mix ingredients to help Prossy’s pigs gain weight or else she will get a very bad price for them regardless of the time and effort invested. The real deal is to try and fatten them a little bit before they can be extended into the market.
Some good news for Hamida as the gentleman who promised to build her a chicken coop has finally started to deliver materials for the construction of the coop. He delivered a truck of heavy stones which will be used to set up the foundation of the house to help protect the floor from getting wet as this area is swampy. This is good progress for her so she gets back to actually what she loves to do. At the moment, she is helping to attend to her partner’s shop and she doesn’t enjoy it much.
Maria A. is doing great, I found her peeling matooke(plantain) to prepare supper for her family. She has a little garden behind her house where she plants some vegetables and plantains to sustain both her family and her animals. She has a good balance while feeding her pigs as she uses maize brand, chicken feeds, leftover food, greens, and anything else edible to keep her pigs happy. It is amazing that her pigs are so quiet and sleep a lot. When I told her about Prossy, she was compelled to help out with the feeding combination so that we can size Prossy’s pigs up before she can trade them for a good price. Maria now also has another pig which is pregnant and will be due in a few weeks to come.
Christine N. is recovering well from the loss of her chickens. She was devastated by this event. She loves poultry farming and has a special attachment to her chickens and pigs but also does a little brick laying on the side. She hires a few young men who break the ground, mix the dirt, cast the bricks and bake them when they dry. This process takes anywhere between 1-2 months. It was nice to see her seven piglets looking good and healthy.
Francoise L. is doing okay. She is still cooking her maize and beans but the quantity has significantly reduced because of the prices of maize, cooking oil, and charcoal. Otherwise, she is well and her kids are going to school so that’s nice even though she has not completed all the payment of school fees but she is committed to ensuring that she has it sorted before exams. Her daughter Jolly is doing okay too. She is doing a mobile salon service at the moment and this has gone a long way to help the family buy daily needs like food, soap and other things.
Irene L. is struggling with the salon lately as the business has reduced significantly. She had not seen any customers for three days and yet she had to transport, feed and even pay bills. The economic situation has become very dangerous lately as people have to choose between so much important stuff and personal care. She is house hunting for another salon but the biggest trouble so far is the price of the shops.
Hadija N. got a small setback with her broken ankle and she had to visit the doctor because it looked like one part of her foot was swelling. The doctor examined and gave her medication to thin her blood because it looked like a small clot. She is now better and will continue with the recovery process.
Anna M. is also recovering well after her broken foot on a boda ride about two weeks ago. I called her up to check on her and she is not doing bad and movement is continuing to increase in her foot so that’s good.
Otherwise, the week went well for me. I got the opportunity to attend a High-Level Workshop on Environmental Protection at our local British Council area office. It was good to see fellow young people who are committed to environmental protection and also doing something about it. I realized it is the small gestures that matter, being able to play your role may act as a motivation for another person and that is how the chain grows.
Thank you for your continued support and interest in everything we are doing here. This week, I will deliver the food for the pigs to help Prossy’s piglets so she can grow bigger. My take from this event is the fact that one Mama is voluntarily helping another Mama and this is the kind of world we want.
Director of Programs, Uganda
ISEE Solutions Society