ISEE Solutions

Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

ISEE Solutions - Investing in Sustainability, Education and Empowerment Solutions

COVID-19 Update June 12, 2020

Greetings to you all,

I hope you are well as you read this week’s update on what’s happening to our Ugandan community.

This week was incredibly short because we had a public holiday on Tuesday. Majority of us only realized this in the morning as we listened to the news on the radio. It’s amazing that many people here still listen to the radio and I listen to my segment in the morning from 7am to 10am. Then my day will start after 10am with regular household chores like cleaning and making my breakfast. Then I turn to my ISEE Solution duties, which from March 2020 have been majorly phone call follow ups as movement was halted by the Covid 19 lockdown situation. I am glad to have been offered this alternative because it’s the only possible alternative to fulfill my roles and duties. 

Tuesday 9th June was Hero’s Day for us. The day when our ruling party (National Resistance Movement) celebrates the day when they emerged winners from the bush to fight for power against the famous regime of Idi Amin Dada. Most people identify Uganda by his presidency and his works. I must say he made Uganda quite famous and actually Forest Whitaker featured in a Ugandan Movie “The Last King Of Scotland”. Which makes me think, why was it even named that in the first place. Food for thought for me, I will research about it. Anyways, we celebrated Hero’s Day on Tuesday 9th June 2020 which marks 34years of H.E Museveni’s leadership. 

Since March 2020, Uganda has registered a total of at least 679 confirmed Covid 19 cases and a total of 161 recoveries have been registered with zero deaths so far. We hope that it stays like this until the world discovers a cure for this pandemic. We can only be positive in the hope that our world will win again like we have beat SARS, Ebola, Malaria, AIDs, Swine flu and the many other viruses or diseases that tortured our world. We all have a role to play and every role is as important as the other. For me and you who might not be medical researchers our role is as simple as staying safe and keeping social distances. This will enable us to stop the spread of the virus hence giving time to the doctors to focus on discovering the cure because they don’t have to worry about containment.

This week, we continued to serve our Mama Nguvu partners through follow ups and we reached the following Mamas;

Pulakiseda K, is doing well. Her family is well and her family is doing okay at the moment. We spoke this week and I was able to buy some food stuff from her grocery shop like rice, sugar, salt, cooking oil and baking flour. As we try to improve the livelihoods of our Mamas, we also try to support their businesses by buying items from them like food from their restaurants and also food stuffs.

Anna M is doing well. I finally got to speak to her on the phone again this week. She had lost her phone to robbers last week. She managed to replace her old number and contacted me so I called her and we spoke a bit. She says she is feeling okay, she wasn’t injured during the robbery so that was good. The thugs only took her phone. We managed to help replace Anna’s phone for her because she also doubles in helping ISEE Solutions do Reproductive Health clinics in the schools we go to during team visits in Uganda. She is a fundamental part of our work so it’s important for us to ensure she is reachable at all times. This is why we thought it was necessary to help her get a usable phone, to ease communication between her and us.

Sara N, our  Mama who rears goats is doing okay. She was very happy this week when I contacted her. At the end of last week one of her goats gave birth to four kids. Unfortunately one of the kids died this week. She noticed this particular kid was not doing well, not feeding well so she called the veterinarian but by the time he arrived it was a bit too late. She was also facing some difficulties in feeding her family at home so we sent her some money to buy some food for her family. Sarah is one of the few Mama Nguvu partners who lives far from the central district where food was distributed. 

Lorna K is doing okay. We spoke this week and she said she was barely starting to survive, with the relief food getting depleted very fast. I am going to keep a close eye on this particular one. I tried to ask her about the possible future plans but she expressed that she has not thought about any yet. She has been making some fabric masks here and there from the off cuts that were remaining and now they are finished. 

Cathy N, had been working lately. We helped Cathy establish a snack business about 2yrs ago. She later got a job at a good school working in the kitchen. The school stopped paying them and now they have to find other things to do. She is now helping out at a hardware store, where she attends the hardware shop of a friend. The friend in turn gives her something small she says. This is what has been sustaining them at the moment.

Betty N is doing well. Her family is well and her husband has recovered well from Malaria. She called me, worried that there might be a more strict lockdown coming very soon. She told me that she was reliably informed by a neighbor who knows some people in the government. She asked me to buy food essentials again. I sent her some money to buy some vegetables for us that I picked up later. This is the beauty of our organization, as we look out for each other to ensure safety and support.

I also spoke to Immaculate M and she is doing okay. She has since closed the salon as she couldn’t support it anymore. She had no customers since February or March due to lockdown and the rent was accruing. She then closed and took the items home. She desires to reopen sometime later as she has used all her savings. She said that she would need money to buy some hair weaves, chemicals and a hair dryer.

Francoise L, is still stuck in the village. When we spoke she said she was running out of medication. Then sadly none of her children in town knows the hospital where she gets medication from. She said that they had transferred the hospital she previously picked it from. She hadn’t yet gone with any of the children as she usually did at the previous hospital. I now have to figure out yet again how to get the medication to her but in the meantime I asked her to maybe consume half until we figure out something.

{EDIT: As of Sunday, June 14, Francoise is back home in Kampala. Her daughter saved enough money to be able to send her some so that she could pay for transit back into town. She will hopefully make it to the hospital early next week in able to get back on her full dose of medications. More to come as we know more.}

Aida K is doing okay. She says the kids are doing well and they are all healthy. She is still stuck at her old business place. This place is assumed to be sold by now and almost everyone has left the property. Aida is the only one still occupying her stall. She says that she is waiting for the final day they will evict them from the property. I reminded her that she still has our support when the time comes. 

Angellah N is doing well. The kids are doing well and the shop is keeping up. She says the sales haven’t been the best but has managed to keep it afloat.

Semmy S is well. She hasn’t returned to her children yet. She is still in the village and hasn’t made it to Kampala yet. She says that she isn’t worried about the kids because she has a sister who comes and checks on them every day, so they are well.

Margaret N is still struggling with her health. Margaret’s leg is still paralyzed a bit in the lower limb. She says she feels a lot of pain especially at night that she can’t sleep sometimes.

Jane N is doing well. The business has been fairly busy as the rains have been scarce in the last 2 weeks. Francis has been doing well, she said he hasn’t had any complications since the lockdown. Jane said that the doctors who have been coming to treat children with macrocephaly. 

Thank you again all our readers. Thank you for the support and also following our work throughout this season. This week has been incredible for me because we had three new goats in our goat project. It brings me so much joy when a project like this grows. The birth of these new baby goats gives us a hope for expansion of the project and maybe one day we will see the dreams of this Mama come to pass. This is why we select such projects at ISEE because they have the opportunity to grow. We keep our fingers crossed for people like Prossy who have pigs, people like Christine who has chickens and the many others who have such dreams to grow their businesses and change their livelihoods.

Stay Safe, stay sociable. Let’s continue to make a difference in our troubled world. Spread the word and encourage your friends and family to join our cause. We can still make a difference today. Like and share this report on your social media pages. Thank you again. 

Report by;

Andrew Echel. 

Covid Update – Week 10

Greetings to you all,

Happy New Month to every single one of you. I hope this read finds you better than you were last month. For us here it is a month of great optimism as most of the lockdown criteria have been revoked or lifted. More people are starting to flock the towns and trading centers than before. The President decided to lift the ban on public transport meaning that the taxis and buses will be allowed to ferry people from their residences to towns. The only condition set is that they shall only carry half of what they ordinarily would carry. This has caused the raising of the transport fares up to double the original fares. This means that a distance that cost 1,000/- now costs 2,000-2,500/- Uganda Shillings. Most people will not be able to afford the fares, mostly the lower socio-economic citizens, like the ones ISEE Solution Society serves. 

The problem over the past few weeks is that more and more cases of Covid 19 have been discovered in communities as well. The previous cases of Covid were discovered at the border posts, especially in truck drivers. The story is now different as only this week almost 40+ cases have been discovered in the community and the general masses. The total of Covid 19 cases have now risen to over 550+ cases. The only good thing is that we have not had any deaths yet and most of the people infected have recovered. Our hope like any other countries is to try and hinder the spread of this virus so we keep our fingers crossed for our population which surely has failed to keep social distance. 

ISEE Solutions has continued to look out for our Mama Nguvu partners and the following people are the ones we managed to reach. 

Francoise L, is doing well. She is healthy and she has her medication. I was worried a bit the first days I tried to call her and her phone was off. It turns out that they had no electricity in the area where she is stuck. She is still waiting for an opportunity for taxis to be allowed in her area so she can finally come home. I am constantly in touch with her to ensure that she makes it to her family safe and sound. Her children who have been cooking snacks in town have been sending her money for food and will hopefully send money for her transport home.

Dorah A is doing well. Her husband finally made it home safely too. He was stuck over 300+ kilometers away from Kampala in a place called Mbarara town. When the president allowed private means to move, he jumped at the first opportunity he got. He is now home with his entire family. Dorah wants to reopen her restaurant when she finds a new place to rent. She is still devoted to her trade and she wants to continue doing what she loves. I encouraged her to look out for the opportunity to rent a place so she can make some money since food stalls have not been closed. 

Harriet L is doing well. She was really happy and thankful for the support we gave to her last time. She also told me the good news that she finally got the relief food distributed by the government. This was really good for her family because none of them is currently working so this food came in handy for them. I encouraged her to eat it sparingly because it doesn’t look like the government is going to go back to the areas they have distributed before. I also encouraged her to look for new business opportunities that she could venture in. 

Lilly A is okay. She was not feeling good as she had a bit of headache on one side of her head. I asked her to see the doctor just to assess the situation. She finally opened her shop and can tailor or sew but says there isn’t business coming her way. I asked her to be careful as she opened her shop and to follow the operating procedures as set by the government. 

Anna M was attacked by thugs. She texted me that she was attacked on her way home. Robbers attacked her and hit her. They ran away with her phone so she reached me on Messenger. I have since been trying to reach her but all in vain. I have left her a message on Messenger to leave a number of someone I can contact to talk to her directly. 

Rehema N is doing well. The 3 infant kids recovered well so that was good. We sent her money just over 2 weeks now and she used the money to buy food and pay some medical debts at the clinic. Unfortunately one of her elder children, Reagan, was not feeling well as he had malaria. I spoke to him and he was receiving some medication so that was good. 

Betty N, is doing well. She has not had any new orders for fabric masks so she hasn’t been busy. Her husband got sick of Malaria, which is usually common in the dry season sometimes. He has been receiving treatment and he is recovering well. 

Hadija N is doing well. She managed to get back from the burial of her brother in a district in the East called Mbale. Our social studies class tells us that the first man came from Mbale, on a Mountain called Elgon. History says he descended the mountain with a cow called Behigo. There you go, now you know the truth about where the first man on earth came from. Back to Hadijja, she says that she is going back to frying chips because people are coming back to the road. She has done so well in this business and we trust that whatever she does, she is going to succeed. 

Annet N is doing well. She is catching up on business as more people are coming back to open shops in the trading center. She has been selling more tea and porridge. We spoke about her closed restaurant in the town and said she would call the landlord lady to ask about the safety of the business items she left in the kitchen. Annet owned another stall that she worked at every evening where she still served the tea and porridge. She sold this to evening market dwellers, people who brought in market supplies for the vendors. When the first lockdown was initiated, Annet wasn’t able to go back to town to figure out transportation for the supplies. 

I spoke to Asia N and Pulakiseda when I saw their market was being demolished. It turns out that the authorities are widening the road. The new road goes really close so it looked like they were cutting off some of the market. It turns out that Pulakiseda’s stall was moved a bit but she is okay. They had to push the stall a bit behind to create room for the road. Asia N also suffered the same problem as her stall too was moved. The good thing is that both of them managed to keep their spaces in the market. 

This week for me has been great, talking to our Mama Nguvu partners. Some are actually making progress. I am happy that the anxiety that was growing has actually reduced. My only fear deep down my heart is that I feel that this uplift is a bit too early. I feel that the public has not got the true perspective of how bad the virus can be so I believe that more and more people will contract the virus for sure. If this happens, lots of people here will die like flies. I only hope that this virus doesn’t spread more.

Thank you for your continued support for all our Mamas, something that we will forever be grateful for. For the lives that you have bettered and the families you have enriched in countless ways, we thank you. We encourage you all to stay safe, keep safe distances but always remember to be sociable as we continue to make this world a better place for all those we are able to reach out to. 

My biggest regards to you all,

Andrew Echel.