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Do not lament, draw lessons from pandemic

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Added 30th June 2020 04:42 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic should not only be discerned as a negative phenomenon with lamentations, regrets and frustration, but something Ugandans and the Government can learn from.

Do not lament, draw lessons from pandemic

DR. Mwalimu Musheshe

The COVID-19 pandemic should not only be discerned as a negative phenomenon with lamentations, regrets and frustration, but something Ugandans and the Government can learn from.

OPINION | COVID19 | PANDEMIC

By Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe

The COVID-19 pandemic should not only be discerned as a negative phenomenon with lamentations, regrets and frustration, but something Ugandans and the Government can learn from.

The coronavirus has taught Ugandans how to save meagre resources and invest in productive ventures contrary to what they had been doing before the lockdown.

It is a lesson for some Ugandans with a poor saving culture, which leads to low investments, low capital accumulation, low productivity, low income and a high level of poverty as a result. Ugandans need to wake up and not to take things for granted and change their mindset. As a result of what is happening today, things are being done differently.

For example we have ‘scientifi c' weddings, electioneering, preaching/teaching through media platforms, celebrations, anniversaries, burials, among others.

The presidential directive on social distancing, handwashing with soap, wearing of face masks and gloves as well as staying at home teach Ugandans the need to observe personal hygiene, sanitation and prevent other contagious and infectious diseases apart from COVID-19 such as cholera, dysentery, Ebola, common flu and other intestinal or bodily illnesses.

COVID-19 is a lesson to Ugandans that they should be creative and enterprising while adhering to the stay-at-home directive from President Yoweri Museveni.

Married couples should learn to stay together amicably with tolerance amidst economic hardships and other life challenges. COVID-19 has raised a consciousness with a refl ection and a philosophy of falling back on agriculture which some people like business community and public fi gures had been doing differently. People need to engage in horticulture, fl oriculture, viticulture and the Government should be analytical on the forward and backward linkages in agricultural production as well as agro-based industries.

Ugandans need to take up every opportunity that unfolds during this lockdown that was put in place as one of the ways of fi ghting COVID-19. The Government should use this period to invest in big strategic areas and industries based on macro-economics as well as the private sector to enable workers like teachers who are not on the government payroll to be paid their monthly remuneration. The Government can also give certain sectors tax waivers so as to rejuvenate them.

Those affected by the pandemic, such as bodaboda cyclists should not just fold their hands. They should use this hardship to seek alternatives ways of survival.

The writer is the Vice-Chancellorof African Rural University (ARU).

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