Yesterday I had spaghetti at a restaurant in Jinja (Uganda) for 4,500 shillings, about $2.25.
For an American abroad, eating is East Africa is cheap, but for the majority of the population in Uganda, even my pasta would have been out of reach. There are pockets of relative wealth around the area, but they are lined with poverty. With over 31 million people living in a country smaller than Oregon, there simply isn’t enough to go around.
Kampala’s energy is generated from dams on the Nile River (in Jinja) and is transmitted via power lines, where near 50 percent is lost in transit. Power outages are not uncommon. This is just one example of problems that effect this region that most Americans cannot begin to fathom.
When I talk to people in the states, I often hear the comment, “Well, one dollar goes further in a third world country than it does here.” While this is absolutely true, it doesn’t make it any easier for the masses here in Uganda.