Site Loader
Current Campaigns

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

A Double Whammy: COVID-19 and Record Floods

As of today, May 14th, 2020 at 8 pm EST, 160 Ugandans have tested positive for the coronavirus, of which none has died and 63 have recovered. 

Although the virus infects a mere fraction of Uganda’s 43M citizens, the pandemic’s impact on the economy and government resonates nationally. Measures to slow the spread often clash against the normalcy of daily life and the vitality of essential trade. As information about the virus emerges daily, Ugandan policymakers must propose national recommendations that adaptively balance the physical and economic well-being of their people. 

Second-hand clothing markets annually reap $200M for the Ugandan economy.

Illustrating this volatility, bans that were placed on the second-hand clothing market were reversed on May 8th – just 24 hours after their institution. Although they may remain open, clothing sellers must abide by heightened hygiene mandates such as fumigation before they can make any sales. While the government did not release any comments concerning this policy reversal, its desire to maintain the $200M industry and to prevent backlash from the U.S. – the main source of imported clothing – may have motivated the decision.

Ugandan truck drivers have been mandated to carry digital tracking devices.

On May 12th, Ugandan officials ordered all truck drivers to carry digital tracking devices. This strategy came in response to a disproportionate rate of infection that was reported among these workers last month. Although preventing the spread of the disease remains paramount, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni emphasizes, “We need the cargo. We need the goods.” … And they certainly do. Stifling the dispersion of COVID-19 has necessitated significant economic sacrifices. Already, the International Monetary Fund, a multinational organization working towards global financial security, has loaned $491M in relief to Uganda’s COVID-19-related economic downturn. 

President Museveni’s final campaign rally from 2015.

Beyond the economic strain, the country expects a postponement of polling for its 2020 general elections. Should the pandemic remain out of control through July, President Museveni predicts a delay of the elections until early 2021. 

The Nalubaale Hydroelectric Power Station, where the blackout-causing blockage occurred.

It gets worse. As if COVID-19 did not pose great enough hardships, the Ugandan people now face extreme flooding – the likes of which they have not seen since 1976. This month alone, the floods have killed 4 people, trapped 200 patients inside of a hospital, and displaced 5,000 others for the sake of emergency relocation. Recently, the record 44-ft rise in Lake Victoria dislodged an island of vegetation – measuring 2 acres –from a riverbank. Ultimately, this floating island clogged one of Uganda’s four main hydroelectric power stations, which precipitated a brief, yet nationwide power outage. 

 

Post Author: Chanel Varney

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

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

Five Decades for WAFU!

His friends and family call him Wafu and he just turned 50 years old (young)!

David Wafula has been with ROWAN since the beginning. He is a full-time staff member and board member.  Here are his thoughts on turning 50:

“I can’t believe I am making 50 years of age… my evening is approaching. Making 50 years in Uganda [while] healthy, happy, and impacting others is a huge blessing.”

When asked about his goals, he said, “I have two words that keep sounding in my mind: STABILITY and PERFECTION. This year I have to stabilize and perfect most of the things that I put my hands on. Ministry-wise and family. This year, I want to inspire many and disciple many in the ministry of ROWAN. At 50, you can be trusted but also entrusted.”

Pastor Paul, Kelsey, and Wafu

“This year is a year of looking back and making evaluations. During this process, I am sure I will [recall] areas I have done well but also improve those areas I have not done well.”

ROWAN is so blessed by Wafu’s wisdom, perseverance, and his wonderful laugh. Join us in wishing him a very happy 50th birthday!

If you’ve met Wafu, please comment with any stories or memories you have with him!

Post Author: Shelly Casale

More from Loverowan