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Luweero Residents Resort to Farming to Cope With Lockdown

Robert Ssekyanzi the Chairperson of Luweero Boda Boda Riders’ Association says that although President Museveni allowed them to transport cargo, he used to spend days with no client which forced him to resort to farming till restriction on movement is lifted.
Patrick Byuma a taxi driver has now decided to spend most time of lockdown in his coffee plantation at Kasiiso village

Audio 5

People who were affected by the closure of their businesses in Luweero have embraced full time farming to cope with the lockdown.

Recently President Yoweri Museveni extended the lockdown by 21 days as the country struggles to contain the spread of COVID 19 which has so far infected 79 people.

During the lockdown, President Museveni banned private and public transport, bars and recreational places, educational institutions and other non-essential business leaving millions of people stuck in homes.

But in Luweero town, people have decided to spend much of the time in gardens to cope with the lockdown and sustain families.

Unlike in past, today large groups of people are now seen in every evening returning to home after spending all day in gardens.

Patrick Byuma a taxi driver in Luweero town says that since the lockdown was announced he has since planted crops on his four acres which are located at Kasiiso village in Butuntumula Sub County.

Byuma says that he used to only attend to his garden for only two days a week and this affected production because of inadequate time. 

Byuma now reaches his garden at 7:30 am and returns home at 5 pm with a break at 2 pm.

// Cue in: “Nze nno...

Cue out;...ali mukulima"//

Robert Ssekyanzi the Chairperson of Luweero Boda Boda Riders’ Association says that although President Museveni allowed motorcycles to transport cargo, he used to spend days with no client which forced him to resort to farming till restriction on movement is lifted.

Ssekyanzi says that he has since planted 400 banana suckers, grown maize and beans as well as replacing old coffee plantations.

Ssekyanzi camped at his garden in Luteete village, Nakaseke district and returns home once a while in a week to take food to the family.

// Cue in: “Nasimbulira ddala…

Cue out;…Boda Boda”//

Joseph Makumbi, the Chairperson of Luweero Taxi Park Traders’ Association says the lockdown is an opportunity for people to attend to other side sources of income among them agriculture.

Makumbi says that several traders have been engaging in agriculture but through sending money to other people who do most work for them and some cheat them.

Makumbi says that following the closure of the shops many traders now ride bicycles, motorcycles and others drive double cabins pickups to attend to farms. 

Abbey Ssozi the Luweero District Secretary for Production says that the lockdown coincided with the rainy season which may contribute to reliable germination and good harvests in future.

Ssozi adds that the district has put the extension staff on alert to provide support to the farmers so that they produce enough food.

He also revealed that next week they will expect maize seedlings from Operation Wealth Creation programme and this will be distributed to affected people to grow more in this lockdown.

Ronald Ndawula the LCV Chairperson Luweero says that the lockdown must be a lesson to all people in the area to stop abandoning agriculture.

Ndawula adds that this will reduce pressure on the government from the affected people demanding for food for survival.

Cue in: “Olwa leero…

Cue out;…kutubeeramu”//

Luganda Byte

// Cue in: “I believe…

Cue out;…survive”//

The Kasana –Luweero Bishop Paul Ssemogerere says that the area is endowed with good soils and it will be a shame for people to fail to utilize it in this period.

// Cue in: “Yitako mu nnimiro…

Cue out;…gyetulina”//

However, a small section of people affected by lockdown are not yet engaged in any activity saying they have no pieces of land for farming and these spend most times in homes.

Other sections of people loiter in the town council to pass time as they wait for the government to lift the restrictions.

The lockdown will end on May 5th next week but on Tuesday President Museveni is expected to address the nation on other measures to contain the spread of the virus.  

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