The year that started so well seems to be an “annus horribilis”. The Corona virus has come to Uganda and the authorities have introduced lock down of the community. Everyone at Nyenga is doing well according to conditions.
At the beginning of the year we celebrated good exam results, the opening of the new Mainhall and the start of our new biogas. We had many and big plans for the year.
Suddenly everything was different. Covid-19 also found its way to Uganda. The authorities took no chances and introduced stringent measures at an early stage. From 20.03. all schools and other educational places were closed. Before Easter, a full lock down was introduced, and it is now extended to 05.05. What happens next is uncertain. No one has so far been registered dead by corona and the number of known infected is low.
At Nyenga, we try to balance between maintaining as ordinary an everyday life as possible and preparing ourselves for what is to come. All the children who attend school outside the home have returned. As the rumors of lock down began, many of the employees chose to go back home. The staff at the Home and those taking care of the animals are present, and at the health center the lab is still staffed and can treat malaria and other minor illnesses. There are few patients as many probably fear infection. There is now a full focus on agriculture to secure food, as no one knows how long the state of emergency will last and what the long-term consequences of it will be.
Some of the youth from the educational project have moved in and are contributing together with the children at our home and the farmer. The Headmaster coordinates activities. We have also been supported by a former member of our local advisory board. He contributes among other things to the children learning new and technical skills. In short, we can say that everyone at our center is fine given the circumstances. The daily lives of many others who have suddenly lost the opportunity for income are much tougher. From many parts of the country and the rest of the continent, it is said that the chance of dying from hunger is greater than dying from the Corona virus. The authorities also face many and difficult choices here.
The Board of Directors in Norway try to plan to the best of its ability under the unclear conditions. We see that we are facing revenue losses both in Uganda and Norway, and that unforeseen expenses are coming. The result of the currency situations means that it has become more than 20% more expensive to transfer money from Norway. After all, we remain positive. We imagine a rainbow and think that one day it will be fine…