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Uganda COVID-19 Update

COVID-19

Africa numbers*

  • 54 countries in Africa affected
  • 99,433 cumulative cases in Africa
  • 3,078 reported deaths
  • 39,103 reported recoveries
  • South Africa most affected with 19,137 cases

*Data from World Health Organization, 5/20/22

 

Uganda numbers**

  • 260 reported cases (up from 126 on 5/13/20)
  • 0 deaths

**Data from World Health Organization, 5/19/20

While the number of Covid-19 cases in Uganda remain low, the number jumped 106% this last week. The country continues its response by asking people to follow guidelines and distance from others which will also keep the healthcare workforce safe.  Another example of Uganda’s response is this: The Minister of Health and State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties have established the first border health laboratory at Mutukula border entry point shared by Uganda and Tanzania. The border is crossed easily, daily, and now, given the rise of Covid-19 among truck drivers, those drivers accessing this entry point will be tested by the new health lab and receive results in 45 minutes. The lab can process 64 samples per hour.

An ongoing concern in Uganda and all of Africa is food shortages.  According to the World Health Organization on March 14, 2020:

“COVID-19 is unfolding in Africa against a backdrop of worrying levels of hunger and undernourishment, which could worsen as the virus threatens livelihoods and household economies,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Hunger and malnutrition heighten vulnerability to diseases, the consequences of which could be far reaching if not properly addressed.”

In Africa, it is estimated that one in five people is undernourished, and that 30% of children under five – approximately 59 million children – have stunted growth, greater than the global average of 21.9%. Wasting occurs in approximately 7.1% of children in Africa. The continent has the highest burden of malnutrition compared with other parts of the world, in terms of percentage of the population. While there has been little research so far into malnutrition as a co-morbidity for COVID-19, people with weakened immune systems as a result of undernourishment are at greater risk of a range of serious illnesses and so are likely to be more severely affected by the virus.

Recent estimates of food insecurity have suggested that as many as 73 million people in Africa were acutely food insecure. COVID-19 is exacerbating food shortages, as food imports, transportation and agricultural production have all been hampered by a combination of lockdowns, travel restrictions and physical distancing measures.

The burden of movement restrictions and lockdowns is being felt particularly strongly by low-income households and those working in the informal economy due to their loss of livelihoods and inability to access markets.

ROWAN continues to deliver food to the widows and orphans in the ROWAN villages.  But the need is great and we need your help.  Any gift will go directly to food for our sisters and brothers who are locked down but need to eat.  Thank you for praying for these dear ones and giving as you’re able.


“Oh God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the stormy blast
And our eternal home…”
Isaac Watts, 1708

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Quarantine Update: Uganda

Greetings from a quarantined world! Due to the Coronavirus, Uganda has been under one of the strictest lockdowns on the continent of Africa. On May 5, 2020*, according to Reuters, Uganda began to loosen their restrictions.

Reuters continued to report:

The country of 42 million reported 97 confirmed cases* and no deaths in 45 days of restrictions, and President Museveni said it was now better equipped to trace and detect new infections faster.

“We have somehow tamed the virus,” Museveni said in a televised address late on Monday.

“It is high time we … start slowly and carefully to open up, but without undoing our achievements.”

However, Africa also has extremely low levels of testing, with rates of only around 500 per million people. 

Uganda, alongside neighboring Rwanda, had some of Africa’s strictest lockdown measures, including the shutting of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public transport vehicles.

 Businesses including hardware shops, restaurants, wholesale stores and others will now be allowed to reopen.

Public transport and most private vehicles would still remain prohibited, however – meaning that workers for reopened businesses will have to commute either by bicycle or on foot.

Schools and international borders were to remain shut, Museveni said.

After a 14-day period, he said, authorities will announce the next level of reopening.

 

While this is good news for people who can work again, there are still several restrictions in place. Challenges remain for the people ROWAN serves. Widows, who are the sole providers for their children (and who were already up against incredible odds before the virus hit), are dealing with severe food shortages. Additionally, there has been no word as to when children can go back to school. If you are able, please consider donating. We are thankful to have a good relationship with local law enforcement, which means we are able to continue to use our bus to deliver food directly to orphans and widows in their homes.

 

Pastor Paul and Mama Edith remain in Colorado waiting for borders to open in June. ROWAN staff members are using this time to pray, work, and plan for ROWAN. God has been loving and guiding during this difficult time. He is always faithful and brings us Hope! 


 

*Updated Information: As of Tuesday, May 12th, WHO reported 122 total cases in Uganda, 1 new case, and still zero deaths. Keep praying with us!

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Locusts Invade Uganda

Swarms of locusts have entered Uganda  by way of Kenya. This very serious desert locust invasion threatens East Africa, the United Nations has warned. Locusts threaten the food security of millions of people.  Swarms of this magnitude have not been seen in decades. In Kenya and Somalia, many crops have already been devastated.

The Eagle Online Uganda news source stated today, March 10, 2020:

 

The desert locusts have since been sighted in 24 districts in Teso, Lango, Acholi, Sebei and Bugisu sub- regions of Uganda.  Since the outbreak, government through its agencies has step up control measures which include rapid spraying in all affected areas with both manual and motorized pumps and sensitization of people. 

 

The Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja, said:  “The existing swarms have not caused significant damage to the vegetation cover, however, there is an eminent threat to food security when the eggs hatch into hoppers in the next few weeks as has been the case with our neighbour, Kenya.”  He said the swarms however continue to spread to other districts and possibly laying of eggs is expected to continue while our efforts to control the adult locusts continue.

 

The Observer Uganda online stated on February 12, 2020:

 

“A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre. UN reports indicate that locusts can reproduce rapidly and, if left unchecked, current numbers could grow 500 times by June. A swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500.”

 

Forecast (March-June 2020) on the desert locust upsurge in the Greater Horn of Africa. Photo: observer.ug

Please pray for ROWAN villages and all of East Africa that resources will be allocated quickly to treat this invasion effectively and that crops and lives would be saved. It’s hard for many of us to imagine experiencing this type of natural disaster. Please join us as we prayerfully imagine ourselves in the place of our brothers and sisters in East Africa.

 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way

you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat

From the fruit stand in the neighborhood market to the vast empire of Microsoft or Disney, we all interact with businesses large and small.  Peter Drucker, father of the practical foundations and philosophies of modern business, said this:

 

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

 

The ROWAN staff, without possibly realizing it, teaches us this very truth.

 

ROWAN staff recently had their 2020 Staff Retreat in Iganga. The theme was: “Enhancing Teamwork for Effective Service Delivery”.  They spent time in sessions engaged with the following topics:

—Discussion of Expectations, Fears, and Objectives

—The role of Teamwork and Identifying One’s Role on the Team

—Strategies for Team Effectiveness and Performance 

—Issues and Challenges Affecting Teamwork 

—Alignment of Teamwork with Christian Values


ROWAN leaders spend time in preparation, prayer, and planning to do the right things. This group of flawed people, saved by Jesus Christ, takes the time to discern, pray, wait on God—through some very difficult and painful daily struggles—to do the right things for the widows and orphans in their care.

If you’d like to sponsor a widow or orphan through this growing organization of leaders that Peter Drucker would be proud of, please choose someone to sponsor in Uganda today You will become part of our AMAKA (family) doing the right things for widows and orphans and you will be changed for the better.  It happens to each of us who follow God’s tug at our hearts and it will happen to you.

 

Photos from the ROWAN 2020 STAFF Retreat—PICTURES THAT SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS:

 

 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Exciting Agriculture Update!

In Uganda, the District Agricultural officer is a government position. The officer who works in the ROWAN area is named Peter.  His job in the district is to empower people with modern productive methods in agriculture and appropriate technologies. Peter is a young man who fell in love with ROWAN this past year. You can see him in the photo below at the annual Christmas party passing out solar light kits.  He is amazed at the impact ROWAN is making in the community. He was singing a song to Pastor Paul that said “I want to work with you, I want to work with you!”

 

District Agricultural Office Paul with Pastor handing out solar light kits!

He has promised 5,000 chickens and 500 cassava seeds to give out across our 30 villages. ROWAN will divide them across our zone leaders and identify potential beneficiaries to receive these chickens and cassava. As people pray for ROWAN, we don’t always know how God will provide.  Since Peter’s job is to help and train the people in agriculture, he saw that ROWAN was already on the ground doing just that.  He wants to help and provide resources and this is huge! We are grateful to God and all those in the villages and across the world who pray for ROWAN. This is a tangible blessing—please thank God with us.  C.S. Lewis said, in his book Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer:

 

“Gratitude exclaims… ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!’ One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.” 

Post Author: Shelly Casale

Jambo! International Mother Language Day

This week, on February 21, it is INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY. This day was approved by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) General Conference and has been celebrated GLOBALLY since 2000, for twenty

“Understanding why and how languages differ tells about the range of what is human,” said Dan Jurafsky, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in Humanities and chair of the Department of Linguistics in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford. “Discovering what’s universal about languages can help us understand the core of our humanity.”

What is the language of Uganda?

Luganda, a Bantu language, is the common national language of Uganda. Wikipedia tells us it is spoken by more than eight million Baganda and other people principally in central Uganda, including the capital Kampala.

From Volunteertherealuganda.com: “Luganda is one of the main languages spoken in Uganda. It is the language of the Baganda tribe. While there are over 50 languages in Uganda, Luganda is by far the most widely spoken in the south central region.  The Kingdom of Buganda stretches from Lyantonde in the west to the River Nile in the east.  Luganda is a musical language that is spoken rather slowly. It’s not at all like English.”

In the areas that ROWAN serves, Lusoga is the regional language.

From Wikipedai:
“Lusoga (Soga) is a tonal Bantu language.  It is the native language of people who are indigenous/originally from the Busoga region. In terms of the number of speakers, is one of the major languages spoken in Uganda, after English, Swahili, and Luganda. However, it is mainly spoken in the Busoga region of southern Uganda by + 3 million people (2007 census).  It is tonal in the sense that a given word can change its meaning depending on its tone, i.e. some words are differentiated by pitch. Words that are spelled the same may carry different meanings according to their pitch. Lusoga is rich in metaphors, proverbs and folktales.”

Language and communication are foundational and fascinating for understanding one another.  God chose to create a multitude of diverse people and languages. When entering another’s language, it helps us to slow down and listen to one another. We stumble along together, until we are hearing each other. Learning from each other brings us together. 

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14

If you find yourself in Uganda visiting ROWAN, here are some of the common phrases you will definitely hear:

Jambo!                              Hello

Webale!                            Thank you

Welaba!                            Goodbye 

Mukama Yebizibwe      Praise the Lord

Yesu                                  Jesus

Catonda                           God

Post Author: Shelly Casale

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