COVID-19 & What That Means For Uganda
Updated: Oct 20, 2021
Starting March 20th the country is going on a month long shut down.
With no reported cases and no flights in or out of the country they have decided to fully close the land entries and close own schools, bars, restaurants, and other public places for the next 30 days.
We are unsure if that will include shopping centers or not, and how it will all be enforced.
For example, taxis have been instructed to shut down (taxis are passenger vans that function like a bus. They start in one location wait til the van is full or over capacity and then start driving picking people up along the way whether there is room or not haha
There are no designated stops so you simply just yell at the river or his fair collector when you need to get off. The fair collector is tasked with collecting the fair and finding riders so he hangs out the door window waving his hand while the driver honks every 5-7 seconds to get peoples attention that a taxi is coming. They end at the taxi depot in the center of town, then head back to where they started.
Taxis however are primarily owned (not operated) by the police so the enforcement of the taxi shut down is nonexistent.
Schools are sending kids home, however its not like the states where a parent might have someone that could watch the kids, or a grandparent or whatever. These kids will be left to their own accord at home and will not be reimbursed their school fees, possibly causing some kids to have to repeat a grade as well. Which means parents who are already struggling to send a kid to school will have to come up with the money again for the same grade.
Bars and events and restaurants shutting down will affect the economy in a unforeseeable way. The city (and even the villages) come to life at night. It is when you find cheaper (street) food. Many people are only able to eat at night when street food is available so now those that work all day could become unable to eat.
The biggest concern is the enforcement of these rules...I don't see how it will actually work.
The national health department has not provided any solutions to avoiding or preventing contact with the virus...The President gave a 3 minute address where he raised his hands in the air as if using the American sign language sign for applause or celebration as a way to greet people rather than touch or hug them...
That was how he said you prevent the contact or spreading of the virus.
They have not said whether or not grocery stores will be shutting down but the unfortunate fact is people do not make enough money (or have the aptitude to practice saving for emergencies) to stock up on supplies. I personally made an effort to stock up on about 3 weeks worth of food however my fridge very small and the power keeps going in and out so losing a large portion of money on spoiled food does not sound intriguing to me.
We will primarily eat vegan as the meat sold in the peninsula is not managed in a safe way for us to eat. Thankfully from what we understand at the moment the trading centers and village shops will not have to shut down as the population is a lot lower.
With the schools shutting down however the village we live in is about to receive a bunch of kids that are normally off studying right now in boarding schools and our population will increase drastically.
Teams have cancelled their arrivals as they are not able to enter the country or would also have to remain in a 14 day quarantine upon arrival thereby spending 2/3 of their time in quarantine and not in the village or working along side us.
My truest concern about the village life is the ineptness of the medical clinics. It doesn't really matter what you go to the clinic for when you are not feeling well, test or no test they will say it is malaria and give you medications for the one strand of malaria for which they have medication.
Travel will become very limited. We will most likely not cross the water to Ggaba to go to town at all. I had a meeting in town this Saturday with a producer from Aljazeera TV who would like to do a feature documentary on Robinson and I here in the village, and the life with the kids that we lead, that we will have to cancel or postpone until further notice.
The biggest trading center on the peninsula is called Mpata, I am hoping that although the population there at night easily reaches over 250 that they will still allow it to function as you can find most food staples there at any time.
With the airports officially shutting down there will be no more imports, which is a HUGE part of the economy for Uganda. That also affects the livelihood of almost ALL ExPats, and many many Ugandans.
Your prayers are all welcome. We have no cases here yet, and hope it remains that way but in all reality we have no idea how far this will reach. Our biggest amount of travelers here are from China, as China owns the mineral rights to most of Uganda, and they own the highways and well....they are China they own most of this place to be honest. So there is still a chance that if the travelers in do not properly quarantine that we could see a wide spread infection throughout the city.
We usually go to town once a week to do shopping however we will not make a single trip for the next 30 days. Meaning we will eat lots of eggs, veggies like: onions, green peppers, irish potatoes, carrot, okra, avocado and cabbage.
Meat will mostly be avoided as last trip to town I watched a woman selling chickens on the side of the road and as a customer picked out which chicken they wanted she killed and plucked right there and then handed the chicken over haha yeah I'm sure that's normal for many places but keeping live and dead chickens on the same cart seems unsanitary. Goats when butchered here in the village get hung from the front window and remain there until sold.
We will start exploring recipes with different forms of flour (like cassava) as wheat flour is an import and will soon run out. (there is only one shop in the trading center that occasionally carries flour as it is)
Basically things have officially become extra interesting or us here.
The view from the walk home from the farm.
The new Matooke & Sweet Bananas planted last week