Feeding 2000 Vulnerable Households during the Lockdown

Feeding 2000 Vulnerable Households during the Lockdown

Like many countries across the globe, Uganda currently finds itself under strict lockdown in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst its population. Luckily, to date, the nation’s number of reported cases has remained low – there have only been 126 confirmed cases and no deaths. However, as Joshua (who has lived in Masaka all his life) highlighted in our last blog, the lockdown presents a host of problems which could be potentially more threatening to the community than the virus itself. For a heavily based cash economy such as Uganda, where the welfare safety net is practically non-existent, not getting to work is a huge issue. It means people can’t feed themselves or their families. Having a bank account is a rare thing in Uganda, so falling back on savings is not an option. Many live out of the cash in their pocket. What people earn from a day at work, often feeds them the next, and so on. There is no plan B for the majority of families. No other support is coming. Compounding the harsh reality of what a lockdown means for the nation, is the fact that this status quo looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Currently, businesses are closed, curfews are in place and public transport is banned. Whilst many European countries tentatively look to slowly move to a ‘life after lockdown’, they have the luxury of developed healthcare systems to support them through the transition. In contrast, Uganda’s healthcare system is much more basic and fragile. For example, there are only 55 intensive care beds in the whole country, and...
Our COVID-19 Food Programme: Supporting the Masaka Community through the Lockdown

Our COVID-19 Food Programme: Supporting the Masaka Community through the Lockdown

Like much of the world’s population at the moment, Uganda is currently under strict lockdown as it desperately tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, whilst our 2020 marathon event is now on hold until 2021, we’re focusing on supporting Masaka, where we operate, through this crisis.   The Uganda Marathon is currently raising funds to create a food programme to help the most vulnerable households in Masaka, alongside a programme to support the hospital as well. Sadly, as Uganda is largely a cash-based economy, and the welfare safety net is practically non-existent, a lockdown means most people can’t go to work. If they can’t go to work, they can’t earn an income, and that means they can’t afford to feed their family.   There is now a major risk the strategy to combat COVID-19 in Uganda may cause significant harm to the community and people will starve. . . . Here Joshua, from our event team, who has lived in Masaka all his life, explains what is happening in the district as a result of the lockdown, and how many families are struggling. As mentioned, families can’t work, so they can’t put food on the table, and some businesses are taking advantage of the situation by raising prices as well. Therefore, to support the community during this difficult time, we’ve teamed up with the Eco Brixs to provide a support programme. Where possible, we are also asking our supporters to donate what they can to help. Everyone is struggling at the present with the worldwide pandemic, but even a small donation goes an incredibly long way...
Tackling COVID-19 in Masaka: How your generosity is empowering the hospital & saving lives

Tackling COVID-19 in Masaka: How your generosity is empowering the hospital & saving lives

. . Like much of the world’s population at the moment, Uganda is under strict lockdown as it desperately tries to contain the coronavirus. Whilst our marathon event is postponed until 2021, we’re focusing our efforts on supporting Masaka, where we operate, through this crisis. We’ve been fundraising to support the hospital in coping with the fallout of the pandemic, and also in setting up a food programme to support most vulnerable who now can’t work due to the lockdown. We’ve invited our friends and supporters to contribute to these programmes, and we’ve been astounded by the response – over £6,500 has been raised to help Masaka through COVID-19. From everyone at the Uganda Marathon, and all of Masaka, a massive thank you for your kind support! Here is an update on how your donations are already making a huge difference to Masaka Referral Hospital in tackling COVID-19. . . .A thank you and update from the Hospital Director . . . Dr Onyachi, the hospital director tells us how the hospital has a catchment area of up to 2 million from the 9 surrounding districts, and with only 330 beds, is under-resourced, yet at the forefront of fighting COVID-19 in the area. So far the received funds have allowed the hospital to test 212 people for the virus around the hospital’s vicinity, in efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Crucially, this has allowed the hospital to identify 4 people who have tested as positive, who are now being safely isolated away from the rest of the population, and are receiving treatment. Furthermore, the funding has also...

Uganda Marathon Coronavirus Emergency Appeal: Save Medics, Feed Masaka

Today, we’re launching our Corona Virus Emergency Appeal. Here are the breakdowns of how the money will help: Corona Support Masaka Uganda Marathon and our partner EcoBrix have developed the following areas of support for Masaka during these unprecedented times. Masaka Referral Hospital: This is the main hospital for the whole region of Masaka with a catchment area of six districts. One of the first confirmed cases of COVID 19 was found at this hospital it is at the epicentre of the region and nations crises. It is also very under equipped for this pandemic. We have been linking with Dr Onyachi the hospital director to ensure we support the most needed and urgent processes required at the hospital. These have been identified as the following: Safety equipment for staff – Doctors, Nurses, Cleaners, Cooks are all putting themselves at risk as they support the neediest at the hospital. They are the community’s life line and we want to support them to keep safe and feed. Gloves (disposable) boxes (100)                35,000   £8 Gloves(size 7.5) 50 pairs box                50,000 £11.40 Gum boots various sizes                30,000 £6.90 Theatre scrubs suits various sizes                50,000 £11.40 Alchohol hand rub 50mls                10,000 £2.30   Isolation Spaces – The hospital lacks proper isolation facilities for identified cases. They require temporary structures and tents to ensure those that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can be fully isolated from other patients at risks. Also they need to be able to track down cases in the community and follow up on people who have come into contact with those confirmed cases. Tents...
COVID-19: A Different Masaka

COVID-19: A Different Masaka

. By Eric Barigye We welcome you to a special edition of our weekly blog that will be looking at how the lives of the people of Masaka have changed since government measures were introduced in response to COVID-19. To do this, I interviewed shop owner Musa Kamoga (from a distance) who has been serving customers since 2013. Uganda confirmed its first Corona case on March 22nd. As of 1st April the number of cases has risen to 33. The President has announced a number of measures to curb the spread of the virus across the country. The most impactful ones to the Masaka community include: A 14-day 7 pm curfew across the country with effect from Tuesday 31st March. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. All non-food shops (and stores) must close. Only shops selling food, agricultural products, veterinary products, detergents and pharmaceuticals may remain open. The Government has banned all people to people movement, including those using their private vehicles, bodabodas, rickshaws (tuk-tuks), etc.   Hearing from a local business owner “I first heard of the Coronavirus from the radio in December when it was affecting China. It seemed so far away.” Musa says. His shop is one of the few open in the area of Masaka known as Katwe. The shop sells things such as beverages, snacks, soaps, detergents, cooking oil, sugar, rice and lots more. “I noticed a change last week. People began buying in bulk even with the price changes.” Prices of rice, oil, sugar, and most notably salt, has seen a 100% price rise from 600 shillings to 1200 shillings since...
Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 3

Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 3

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that focuses on a particular aspect to learn more about the people and place that play host to our Adventure Like No Other! This week, we conclude the Trees of Masaka series! . If you missed the previous entries, you can find them here: Part 1 and Part 2. This week we are going with an all edible fruit tree line up. Luckily, you’ll find them all in season on your arrival to Uganda! . . .   ... Jackfruit Tree Starting with the Artocarpus heterophyllus better known as Fene in Luganda and Jackfruit in English. Something that will surprise even Ugandans is that this tree actually originates from Asia, probably in the forests of the Western Ghats in India and is said to have been introduced to Uganda as late as the 1940s! It’s a medium-sized tree with thick branches, to 25 meters, and it produces a white gummy liquid when injured. Of course, the most popular use is the big sweet fruit it produces (hence the name) but the latex from the trunk and branches have resins that are valuable in varnishes as well. The latex is commonly used as adhesive for mending broken chinaware or earthenware, caulking boats, mending holes of buckets and trapping birds. It can serve as a substitute for rubber. . . . Avocado Tree Next, we have Persea Americana which is Avocado in English.  In Uganda, it’s grown in all moist areas. It has a densely leafy evergreen medium and grows to 9-20 meters in height. Besides providing the fruit we all know...

The Uganda Marathon COVID-19 Response

Dear Friends. It is with great sadness that we have announced that, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic,  we are forced to postpone the 2020 Uganda Marathon week-long Adventure, and the Uganda Marathon Race, until Summer 2021. Prior to the 18th March, our stance was that the event was due to continue as planned, as long as it was safe, participants were able to get to Uganda, and that we had not received instructions to cancel from local or national authorities. However since then, tight controls have been put into place in Uganda that make the safe organisation of this event impossible. These controls include: Changes in the FCO travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to Uganda – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/uganda. Updates from the Ugandan government Ministry of Health advising against foreign travel to Uganda. The closure of the only international airport in Uganda for all non-essential travel. The closure of roads into the country for all non-essential travel. Strict quarantine instructions for all Ugandan residents returning home that force them to isolate for 14 days on arrival. The banning of all big gatherings The banning of all press conferences. The closure of all schools, universities and churches. It is difficult to predict how long these measures will be enforced for, but after conversations with the local authorities and our sponsors, we realised that we can no longer hold the event this May and so we have no choice but to postpone the 2020 event. We are devastated as a team, but even in this time of sadness, we are touched by the messages of understanding and support...
Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Farmer

Everything Uganda: From Your Projects – A Day in the Life of a Farmer

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place and Charity Projects which host our Adventure Like No Other. This week we return to the projects and beneficiaries being supported by the 2021 event! . Masaka Youth Development Association was started in 2013 for and by the youth community of Ssaza to combat the poverty and unemployment in the area. They are now looking to expand to nearby areas with the help of members like Solomon Kigoye.  Having joined after learning of MAYDAS through a friend in 2014, Solomon has risen to the committee position of treasurer. From a family of farmers, he joined shortly after his A-Levels when he went full time into farming and luckily MAYDAS was there to give him the capital he needed to grow his scale.  . . Solomon’s Day Solomon wakes at 6:00 AM and after early morning preparations, he leaves his house for the shamba. March is the beginning of the wet season here in Uganda and this is the time farmers plant their seeds as can be gleaned here.  Solomon himself is planting maize and beans on the 1.5-acre land his family owns.  He tilled it recently and so the holes he has to put the seeds are prepared. He practices intercropping of beans and maize by putting 3 of each type in the same hole before covering it with soil. He does this because of the small size of the plantation as well as the cost he saves when fertilizing. He tells me the...
Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 2

Everything Uganda: Trees of Masaka Part 2

. By Eric Barigye Welcome back to our weekly blog that focuses on a particular aspect to learn more about the place, people and this week – continuing with the trees that colour our Adventure Like No Other! . If you did not catch the first entry of this series please find it here. . . .   ... Budongo Mahogany We begin with Entandrophragma Angolense or Mukusu in Luganda and Budongo Mahogany in English. This tree is indigenous to Uganda growing along forest edges and in thickets. It is a very large deciduous tree to 50 m with a deep crown and dense foliage. Providing good shed it is also used as an ornamental tree. The wood is highly valued for exterior and interior joinery, furniture, cabinetwork, veneer and plywood, and is also used for flooring, interior trim, panelling, stairs, shipbuilding and coffins. The seeds have a fat content of about 60% which makes them rich in cis-vaccenic acid, an oleic acid isomer that can be used in the industrial production of nylon-11. Sadly this tree has been overharvested in Uganda and is now nearly extinct. . . . . . East African Satin Wood Next, we see Zanthoxylum Gilletii (Fagara Macrophylla) or Munyenye in Luganda and East African Satin Wood in English. In Uganda, it grows in tropical rain forests, especially in lower- and medium-altitude forests. Growing between 10 and 35m this trees’ timber is heavy, yellow-white, sweet-scented, tough and easily worked. The trade name “satinwood” comes from the bright shiny appearance of the polished timber. The bark is used to treat cough. The seed coat contains an...
2021 event open for registration. Our team are currently providing Covid-19 emergency reliefSee how here
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