News from Namuwongo by Christine Spinney – Published 2017
Based on the author’s weekly blog, written over several years, during her many visits to Uganda, this book is part personal account, part social, religious and economic history.
Having friends who were expelled from Uganda during Idi Amin’s purge in the 1970s, I was moved by the author’s matter of fact description of the situation and the long term impact on both the individuals and the country itself.
But I was most interested in her experiences on the ground, particularly during her early trips: the insanitary living conditions, food poverty, unplanned pregnancies, lack of medical care, the need for sustainable aid and the benefits of education.
I’m sure she’d join me in asking readers to stop for a moment and think, perhaps at the end of each chapter. As we take for granted clean toilets, running water, sufficient food, healthcare and decent standards of hygiene, have we ever considered that even toilet toll middles might be a luxury?
And it’s only relatively recently that charity campaigns (including fundraisers on the Roseland) have brought to our attention the need for sanitary kits.
A thought provoking account, which isn’t all doom and gloom; there are real signs of progress as time goes on, but after decades of division, widespread poverty and disease, as the author herself asks: what does the future hold?
The book is available from the author (who regularly does Fairtrade stalls at Gerrans church). Alternatively please let me have your contact details and I will pass them on.