SUPPORT VILLAGE ECONOMY: You Need To Support Your Local Shopkeeper This X-Mas

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By Hazel Tendo

Yesterday as I came to work, I witnessed so much traffic on major roads that lead to and out of Kampala City.

The traffic was largely full of shoppers doing their last-minute shopping before heading out to the countryside for Christmas celebrations. In a few daysโ€™ time, the capital city will be a ghost town. Mostly deserted, save for a few of Kampala dwellers who have to work through the holidays and the unlucky ones who couldnโ€™t travel because of various reasons. And I will be one of the few of those who will enjoy the serenity of the city (I hope you can see the silver lining for us the village absconders).

But the scene of this shopping frenzy got me wondering; why people are so much eager to travel with their cars packed with all the food items including the universal items that can be sourced in the very villages they are headed to.

The โ€œKampalansโ€ like to pack their car trunks with all kinds of merchandise from, sugar, rice, foodstuff, and all sorts of groceries. Apparently, this is to mitigate the inconvenience of the scarcity in villages. While itโ€™s true that some items are hard to find in villages, a whole lot more can easily be bought from your village shop. It is important to note that this pandemic affected the economy everywhere and as a result, the rural centers need a boost to recover from the pandemic. The Christmas season is a perfect time to do that as a way to give back to your community.

Be part of the economic recovery in your village by supporting your upcountry vendors in this season. It does not make sense to carry sugar from Kampala to my village in Kisoro when Kisoro has so many shops with sugar.

Use the commodities in your village instead of felling imported products to your home town. Do not carry powdered milk when you can buy a litre of milk at 1,000 from the village farm or milk sale point. Do not carry packed chicken โ€“ you even buy a cooler when you can support your village neighbor who rears chicken.

Have a yearning to support your communityโ€™s growth. Be their reason to make money they have never made in this season. There will be a spiral effect as there will be growth in the other sectors since the shop attendants can now afford to pay for other services in their communities. School feesโ€™ are around the corner, you could be the reason your village neighbor doesnโ€™t have to worry about the coming school season.

We โ€œKampalansโ€ sometimes lament how the village people have a begging attitude yet, we are not ready to support those that are doing their best to earn an honest living. I do understand that perhaps, some of us donโ€™t realize that we can be of impact in one way or the other in our village communities.

Now that you know that some of the items you carry to your home town and village, can easily be purchase there, do something about it. Not only that, but be on the lookout for how you can be a change agent in your rural community this Christmas. I hope after this โ€œrebuke,โ€ you can still accept my heartfelt and warm wishes to you in this holiday season. A merry and Joyous Christmas to you and your households. Letโ€™s spread the love by being the change we want to see!

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