As we grapple with arctic conditions in the UK remember Gabriel and the team at Luwero. Little rain has fallen at Luwero since Gabriel returned just before Christmas. When speaking with Gabriel recently by telephone, at 10.00 pm local time in Uganda, he confirmed that the temperature was 35°C. Many water courses and wells locally have dried up. Only one of the two wells at Luwero (pictured below) is still producing water.
One of the two wells at Luwero
It is over 210 feet deep and hopefully remains sufficiently below the water table to continue supplying the water needs of the project. The water bowser purchased last year has been an asset for the project and has been ‘well’ used transporting water around the site. Water is pumped from the bowser into 10,000 litre storage containers local to where it will be used.
Lack of rain prevents planting. Once seed is planted the lack of rain stalls germination and slows crop growth leading to sparse harvests. Too much rain can destroy the crops. When poor harvests result parents who rely on crops for their livelihood lose income. When there is a loss of income school fees cannot be paid and children do not attend school. Low school fee income impacts upon the school finances. The trust has recently been able to subsidise some aspects of the school running costs to relieve the pressures which have occurred. Two ton of maize was harvested in December which provides about a month’s supply of food for children at the school. Rain is required in appropriate amounts.
The new school academic year began on 5th February. Thirty-seven P7 Luwero pupils passed their end of primary school exams gaining 1st or 2nd grade results. It was a sad return to school for two pupils however whose fathers died at the beginning of February. One was the parent of a P7 pupil, the other the parent of a secondary school pupil and chair of the secondary school parent’s board.
Gabriel, Deborah and Priscilla are all well. One of Deborah’s brothers-in-law died at the end of January. He leaves a widow and several children. They live in Jinja, approximately 75 miles from Luwero.
Luwero’s 8th annual pastor and church leader’s conference is scheduled for 7th- 11th May and preparations are in hand for that event both locally and with some Scottish church leaders who plan to attend. In parallel with the conference it is also intended to run a children’s club again. A team of volunteers is being assembled in Scotland to assist the Ugandan team who are largely taking responsibility for its organisation. This will be the 4th annual children’s club.
Construction work on the new girl’s dormitory block for the secondary school has reached 1st floor level. Internal and external plastering to the ground floor is in progress and windows and doors are being fitted. A much needed boy’s dormitory block will soon be commenced and constructed to 1st floor level. The vocational building is nearing completion with doors and minor items outstanding.