Munir is visiting the Paramount Chief today to report that all 29 villages in the northern and central part of the chiefdom have been contacted and are being served by the outreach teams. If asked by the Paramount Chief, the teams will begin working with villages farther to the south, in the direction of Zimmi. The Representative in Parliament for this area, the Honorable Alusine Kanneh, is also visiting and holding meetings. Fodei expects to meet with him tomorrow.
Fodei was concerned about having enough Ebola-related supplies -- gloves, masks, oral rehydration solution, disinfectant, etc., to give them outright to every village. He was prepared to propose that each village contribute to buy their own supplies since there are so many communities to serve. I told him that people here are giving generously and we would be able to cover the cost of the additional supplies, as long as he could make the purchase there -- and that the villagers should focus on using their money to stockpile food.
That stockpiling is going well. Some villages have turned over their supply of rice 3 or 4 times already, selling it all to their residents and using the money to send for more. And although there have been media reports of crops being abandoned in the fields in some areas due to fear of working closely together, Fodei says that as long as Ebola is not present in the village, there will not be a problem harvesting the rice when it is ready in a few weeks. People are carrying out their normal activities, including farming.
And in most ways, it sounds like daily life is fairly normal in the village. During rainy season, it is still possible to plaster the walls of previously-completed houses with cement, for long-term protection from the rain, and a number of Housing Project homeowners are hard at work on this. Fodei expects 10-12 additional houses will be plastered by the end of rainy season in December. The new Housing Project office is also being plastered and will be completed two days from now. Then glass windows will be added.
I asked Fodei to try hard to make contact each week so we will not worry unnecessarily, and can then post an update for all who have expressed concern. He promised to try his best.