Sunday, June 28, 2015


  woman using walking sticks fashioned out of tree branches

I used to think Entebbe is the furthest place I’d been to within the country then I went to Gomba and now Nebbi. Nebbi is FAR! As far as the Kingdom of Far Far away in Shrek. And I have to say, the most arduous journey I have taken so far.
A trip slated to kick off at 8 am got off to a late start at 12pm. A late start never bodes well for such long trips so does the cramped space. Good thing is; I travelled with the big bosses and it couldn’t have been anymore interesting. I was the minion to their Gru. The trip was for a monitoring and evaluation exercise on the project they have going on in the Nebbi sub-counties of Kucwiny and Wadelai (Nebbi has three sub-counties).
Nebbi was an experience to say the least in so many ways. Unlike Gomba which looked truly like an abandoned village, Nebbi is more of a work in progress - on the way to development. The roads are good and smooth, fresh construction going on and vast expanses of land! So much fertile and free land over there. The civil war in their region set them back a little but it isn’t as bad as one would expect.
The town centre is OK and so are the accommodations. In fact, they were better than I had imagined. The room was self contained and the bed met my expectations because I have a bad back. If the mattress isn’t as hard as a new sofa, it makes for bad days and several aches. The only wrinkle was the lack of hot water which was easily fixed. Let’s not forget the lack of man candy! Nebbi has no young men at all! Where did they go to?
Kucwiny sub-county was the first area to visit on account of it’s near location. The women with disabilities(beneficiaries of the project) made quite an impression on me. They spoke with so much confidence and ease. You could tell how positive the project has been on their lives and the people around them. It was so good to see first hand because of who they are and their stations in life.
Who stood out the most for me amongst them was the woman using normal sticks as walking aides. Seeing her made me reflect on my life. Unlike her, I have my mother and brother who look after my walking aides needs. I get new rubber soles when they wear off on both crutches and not so long ago, my brother bought me a new set of legs after a fall that led to the demise of one crutch.
They, unfortunately, do not have people like these in their lives. Most of them were using normal sticks fashioned out of tree branches and if they had crutches, they were either mismatched, poorly adjusted or worn out at the soles. Majority were using the metallic bit at the end of the crutch which is hazardous. Seeing this made me want to make a ‘call for action’ which I do not know how to go about. What I do know is it would be a win-win situation for the parties involved.
We then moved on to the sub-county of Wadelai where the women were listless. The project did make an impact on their lives, however they were not as lively as the women in Kucwiny which made the trip to their sub-county anticlimactic.
On the whole; Nebbi was a successful trip. I didn’t do much sightseeing but what I did see was enough. The West Nile on which Moses travelled to Egypt in his baby basket, the acres of Sun Flower farms, Murchison Falls National Park and the Karuma Falls where a hydro-dam is being constructed. It was enough.

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