Skyrocketing Food and Fuel Prices Impact the Most Vulnerable
Western news outlets are reporting daily on the direct impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There are global economic ramifications that are wreaking havoc on the vulnerable communities in Africa and are impacting our ability to do our work.
News outlets throughout sub-Saharan Africa are reporting from streets filled with protesters who are fed up with the rising costs of food and fuel, which have reached an all-time high.
And the impact is felt all the way down to the village level, where basic necessities are becoming unaffordable. Because in Africa, fuel prices directly impact the cost of everything else. And sky-high transport costs directly lead to food inflation. And at DROP we are feeling this as a direct hit. We have donors who funded wells six months ago at a cost of $6000. But now, due to this inflation, it is costing us $7500 to drill those wells.
According to World Economic Forum’s May 2022 report,
“Sub-Saharan African countries find themselves facing another severe and exogenous shock. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a surge in food and fuel prices that threatens the region’s economic outlook”
Village Life in Uganda
The situation is particularly troubling for Ugandans who were dealt a traumatic economic hit when the country shut down for 10 months in 2020 due to Covid. And schools remained closed 80 weeks in total.
So now, just as the population is preparing bounce back, the country is being confronted with the exorbitant costs of everything. In recent months, the country has seen the price of commodities such as soap jump to more than double the regular price.
DROP is also feeling the impact in our work. Our Uganda drilling team is currently in Iganga district drilling 20 wells, mostly for schools and the amount we are spending on fuel is higher than it has ever been?
The daily challenges we normally encounter in our work, are compounded exponentially, as market prices fluctuate daily. Some key materials have increased as much as 50%. And cargo shipments can delay up to six-months due to supply-chain issues.
How this is affecting our work
To make up for this drastic increase in costs, our field teams are foregoing a community empowerment activity that we love to provide in the villages where we work. Whenever possible, we train local community members (half women) to become hand pump mechanics. They can then use these skills to repair their own wells and operate as a business repairing wells in other villages.
As summer 2022 draws to an end, we are appealing to our drop family to consider making a contribution, however small, to help us bridge the funding gaps we are encountering due to this economic crisis.
$1000 – will fund a Pump Mechanics training for eight people.
$500 – will cover the increase if fuel costs for the drilling of one well
$200 – will help feed the drillers for one month
$100 – will help bridge the increase in costs for installation materials for one well.
Please consider making a donation