I am Addison Lwanga Nabi, I am a Muganda by tribe. I studied sociology, demography and social statistics at Makerere University. Over the past years I worked with several research organizations like the MRC, the UVRI, the Rakai Project. I have also worked for UN organizations in Afghanistan, Tadschikistan, and South Africa.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown affected us badly. Everyone is traumatized in his or her own way. The health system was overwhelmed by the people who were infected by Covid-19. Many people lost their lives during the first and the second wave because the health system was unprepared. The pandemic affected the social fabric of our society. The idea of social cohesion was not anymore meaningful. Everyone was living for herself, keep distance, and fear others. Most importantly, many people lost their jobs during the lockdowns. People who lost their income had to go to the moneylenders to take up loans to pay school fees. But when schools were closed and children came back without finishing the terms, the school fees were not paid back. Families had to sell property to clear their debts. And now as the country is opening step-by-step and also schools are about to open again, the uncertainty grows. People ask how they should pay the fees after they lost their incomes and property. But also, what happens when there is another wave of Covid-19?
People are silent. But inside them the question what comes next is burning. But nobody is giving an answer to what comes next. Also our government does not provide an answer to the most pressing questions what to do when jobs are not there, money is not there, and food is not there.
I am generally interested in the way research can help the local man and the local woman. Much research in Uganda is purely academic. Or research is driven by development policies and aims at short actions. Much research is also externally funded. They do not necessarily inform government policies. I am interested in research that helps local communities. In this project I am particularly interested in how people come to know and unknow. For me this is a question of learning. I am interested what people have learned from the past waves and moreover how they have been learning by adapting to the situation, by searching for new niches and develop capacities to stay self-reliant.