Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday in Kagamba...rain!!
Last night , (Monday night) we were awoken at about 3:30 to a major thunderstorm….thunder, lightning and lots of rain. It was almost peaceful to hear such a powerful storm here in Africa….they sound exactly the same as at home!!! The rain also helped cool things down as it has been very hot here since we arrived…roughly 28-30 degrees each day. It was still raining when we woke up in the morning. It continued to rain until roughly suppertime…not sure how much rain we got, but it was a large amount. The road into Kagamba is approximately 25 KM’s and the entire road is clay..so it was a greasy, slimy trip into the SACCO. We definitely made good use of the 4X4!!!
Our plan for today was to work in the SACCO in the morning with the staff and management and then visit some of the local farmers in the area, however with the significant amount of rain and the conditions of the roads, we were unable to make our visits as scheduled. This was disappointing for me as a farmer, as I was really looking forward to seeing how farmers operate in Africa.
We did make good use of our extra time at the SACCO and learned much more about how the SACCO operates as well as some of the major struggles they have as a relatively new organization with limited access to training and external resources. One really has to reflect on the advancement of the modern day financial system. Kagamba is operating at the most primitive level of the financial world. This isn’t a meant as a derogatory statement against the SACCO at all, but rather is just a simple statement of the reality that new SACCO’s face in Africa. This just reaffirms the need and value of having the CCA and UCA send coaches into these villages to help.
Tonight we will prepare a report on our observations and on Wednesday we have a meeting scheduled with the Manager and Board to share these findings. The report will also be filed with the UCA in Kampala and the CCA in Ottawa with the goal providing an in depth analysis of what is working well, and what areas may require follow up in the future.