Monday, 7 September 2009

Uganda calling...

Sorry for the radio silence, at least I warned you – internet access is quite easy here but all the internet cafés seem to have abysmal connection speeds so I have waited till getting to the office to drop this update through.

So.. have I got a Shepherd’s Bush update for you? No I have not! So let me tell you about this place instead .. weather here on the weekend was equatorial Africa at its best – scorching on Saturday and then stormy on Sunday. While I come to this region quite a lot it’s the firs time in Kampala, and to be honest its one of the safest cities in this region I’ve been to its also one of the most dull!

That said the abiding memory I have from walking the streets here is the shocking divide between have and have nots. People frolic in the high class hotels while just outside infants sit on almost every corner. Some of them don’t even beg, they just sit there staring.

I handed over a suitcase full of baby clothes that our own kids have grown out of on the Friday. It’s a fantastic orphanage but deals with the harvest of that poverty in its work. Many of the children have HIV and nearly all are abandoned in places that are so well used for that purpose the orphanage workers check them regularly. Roadsides are well used but I also heard of a little girl thrown into a latrine pit.

The days of Idi Amin are long gone here but its one of the most unstable regions in the world with armed conflict in the north of Uganda itself and across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda lies to the south and Kenya to the east.

Looking forward to getting back to the Bush, and I promise to post at least 3 W12 related stories from here, but whilst I’m away why don’t you suggest some? Use the comments section.

For now goodbye from the heart of Africa

1 comment:

  1. OK, but my suggestions are going to feel a little trivial coming after a post about Ugandan poverty, war and orphans...
    Further to that project featuring Underground staff, I've always thought the Parks Constabulary must have quite a unique view of the community. I presume there's a specific team that covers the W12 parks - the Green, that park that's hidden behind the BBC (Hammersmith Park?), Cathnor & Wendell, the parks around the White City Estate, etc - as well as those just outside the Bush.
    Also, would love to know who's watching us on all the W12 CCTV cameras, and where they are, and what the actual benefits are, apart from collecting parking fines.
    And it seems like a whole bunch of long-empty shops are suddenly being rented and fitted out in the Askew Road, despite the supposed recession.