Ugandans must now more than ever learn to fish and not be handed fish.
The onset of the pandemic continues to expose Ugandans as a people that are beggars, people who live for now and lack a good saving culture. Is it because we have not been taught any better or have we basically sailed through life as a nation that has not seen major disasters?
Before we had ever heard of COVID 19, as a nation our major emergency issues especially in the city were a few floods caused mainly by blocked drainage systems. This was expected because many of us build our houses in wetlands.
When malaria hit, government was quick to respond by distributing treated mosquito nets that we instantly turned into green houses, but for all those other issues, we cried to Mr Museveni(GAVUMENTI). Our first thought of action has and still is, “Tusaba Gavumenti Etuyambe.”
This exposes a lifestyle that has been encouraged by a government that offers solutions for today but not for tomorrow. Ugandans must be encouraged to prioritize the basics, food especially just like they prioritize their party lifestyle. Just as they plan, Friday proggie, food that at least takes them through a month must be prioritized. But that is not the case because we have also learnt that we can blackmail our political leaders when faced with times such as these.
We should have taken lessons from the first lockdown, when city dwellers were reduced to begging for posho and beans (don’t get me wrong, I was among the recipients) it should have been an opportunity for Ugandans to learn to save for rainy days. Leaders should have come out to encourage their people to find ways of sustaining themselves by growing even a few vegetables around their homes, and working with what is in their means. Today one does not need to have acres of land to plant food. You only need plastic containers, sacks and soil to be able to grow some vegetables at home.
We must start now, to go away from the normal, we love to party, but must also know that times are different. Let us pick lessons from every struggle and be prepared for tough seasons. Leaders must not only present themselves and saviors with handouts but also offer solutions, teach their people to be more self sustaining.