Everything’s a little different this time…

Today we make our way to Neptune Hotels, which are located south at the end of the tarmac Diani Beach Road. This section belongs to Galu Beach, another beautiful beach stretch. From here we received a list which, after consultation with the Red Cross, contains 165 names of casual workers, trainees and beach vendors. Another, albeit smaller list we could get from Kaya Kinondo, which lists the names of the dancers of the cultural group. 

In the preliminary talks with the management of Neptune Hotels, we received great support after explaining in detail who our target group is and how transparently the whole project is handled. Spontaneously we are assured that the long-life food, which is still in the hotel’s store, can also be given away. So, this time, all beneficiaries will be lucky enough to go home with a big Diani Pamoja bag and to receive an extra bag with noodles, tomato paste, margarine, juice, salt, oatmeal and rice pastry, fairly distributed as far as possible. We are very happy about the generous gesture and therefore instead of 200 packages we now pack 400 – small and big!

While some of us load the truck in the morning, we pick up the volunteers of Red Cross far outside of Ukunda. Unfortunately, we are not supported by the police and so we use the private security service of Group Four. The emergency vehicle is parked directly in front of the distribution point. There is where our thanks go today, because they helped without costs and at a very short notice. Not a matter, of course!

The distribution takes place opposite the Neptune Hotels in their conference centre. The volunteers from Red Cross are shortly briefed and then it goes very quickly, one after the other. One after the other can pick up their 2 packages after they have been checked. Of course, this time again we put a lot of emphasis on the safety distance, hand washing hygiene and wearing a mask. We are now all more experienced than 3 months ago when we started with the first edition of Diani Pamoja. And so, after about 2 hours, almost 200 packages are distributed and the rest is returned to our storage at Diani Sea Lodge. We are not surprised that a few packages were not picked up. Some workers probably took the chance to go quickly to their home villages after the lockdown was lifted. Survival is perhaps a little easier there, as the families help each other and more food can be grown in the countryside than here in the rented rooms in Ukunda, where many simple workers live.

In about 2 weeks some hotels are already planning to reopen. We hope very much that this will help to relax the financial situation of the people. However, it will not be helpful for the group of people most affected: the temporary and casual workers. For this to happen, tourism will first have to recover slightly. And so long Diani Pamoja has a big task. We want to continue to help and give the people a little hope!

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