Free shipping on orders over $25

A sobering reality of lock down in Uganda.

Mt Atkinson

Just this week I was messaging Gerald from Gorilla Summit Coffee, our green bean partner, checking in on how Covid-19 was effecting Uganda. He mentioned that they are in full army enforced lockdown.What does this look like?
In Geralds words: WILD.
No one moves or goes outdoors unless they are walking to buy food or they are going to hospital.There is a curfew from 7pm to 630am where there is absolutely no outside movement.Only factories are open, and the staff have to stay and sleep onsite.No vehicles are allowed on the road unless they are delivering food, cargo or raw material.

In the capital Kampala, there is a huge workforce who do odd jobs: loading and off-loading, boda-boda drivers (motorbike taxi’s) and stocking the markets. Once lockdown took effect, all these people became jobless.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost over night.
Unemployment has skyrocketed, which has resulted in desperation and looting
Out in Kanungu, in the coffee fields, it is a slightly different story.
They are also in lockdown, which means only food shops and pharmacies are allowed to stay open. However schools are closed and everyone is home. Students are usually fed at school, and so this puts pressure on the families because the budget for food is now stretched to the max.
Most of these coffee farmers grow their own crops, but it is planting season. So many poor families will be forced to eat their seed that they were going to plant, in order to survive.
At this stage Uganda’s lockdown is in place until the second week of May.
As timing would have it, our new container of Ugandan coffee snuck through and on to the ship JUST before the lockdown in East Africa took effect. This has meant that our payment has been able to be redirected to help fund food parcels for these coffee farming families most at risk of going without food.

Food parcels for the most at risk coffee farming families.

We are committed as a company to making sure that this coffee community makes it through these most unsettling, crazy times and so we are personally funding food packages for at risk families in Kanungu.
I encourage you, take a moment to watch these video’s and reflect on how lucky we are to live in NZ. Yes we might be stuck in our bubbles which can be a drag, but we don’t have the army shooting AK47’s outside our windows; we have a government who is proactive with help and not corrupt, and easy access to food.
Stay safe

Mt Atkinson Coffee Roasters.

Mt Atkinson