CORONAVIRUS: THE EFFECTS ON LOCAL ECONOMIES AND RESPONSE

By Margaret T., Kyangwali News Bureau | Kasonga


Coronavirus forced many businesses to close. This followed the directive from the Ugandan Ministry of Health that was aimed at countering the possibility of seeing higher death tolls and positive cases like in other countries like China, Italy, Rwanda, Germany and the United States to mention a few. As a result of the pandemic, the government was allowing mobile money outlet operators to continue serving the public. They also let people with private means of transportation to travel back and forth as a means of emphasizing on social distancing. Public means of transport was suspended and this meant that drivers, conductors and some traders who relied on public transportation lost their jobs and incomes.

The other group in the economy that was hit so hard by the anti epidemic measures are the private teachers who are not being paid unlike their government counterparts who continue to earn their salaries. Churches also closed and pastors also lost the income; many church leaders and pastors are powered by the funds raised from offertories and churchgoer contributions and with people not attending programs and Sunday prayers, there is no money collected. Everyone was hit in one way or the other, it’s not something we can take for granted. The believers were forced to start confessing; some of them. And pastors went on TV and radio stations offering phone numbers and bank accounts asking the members of their churches to donate.



Although the private teachers are not getting paid, they are giving out books to their learners and these books are provided by the ministry of education and sports. The government has not stopped supporting the citizens; they are giving books and other educational material to pupils and students and the Covid-19 National Task force is distributing relief items, mainly food and soap to help keep people afloat during the pandemic.

The question may be what about the refugees? Well, there is help that they are receiving and this is a mixed one: from local organisations here in Kyangwali to individuals, non-profit organisations and businesses registered by refugees in the United States, Norway and within Uganda. They are sending money to buy food for the vulnerable and other refugee groups struggling to put food on the table; the elderly, single mothers, unaccompanied minors and orphans. Some of these organisations and businesses that are sending help to Kyangwali are :

CBO-Impact Soap Nonprofit (Fort Worth, Texas)

UFPA Food Nonprofit (Lansing,Michigan)

Think Humanity Food etc. Nonprofit (USA & Uganda)

P4T Coordination & Food Nonprofit (Norway & Uganda)

Safro Roots Ltd. Food Business (USA & Uganda)

RNIA Ltd. (Kyangwali News) Food Business (USA & Uganda)

Hope Oris Foundation Food Nonprofit (Norway & Uganda)

Many resettled refugee individuals either sent funds to families directly or donated to the above entities to enable them raise funds that have and continue to buy food that is being distributed in Kyangwali refugee settlement.

The president announced that the public means of transport will be opened on 4th June 2020 emphasised that travellers must have face masks in order to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. Mr. Museveni also said that the public means will only be allowed to take half the number they have been taking before the pandemic so as to observe the social distancing. In addition to that, the president pointed out that easing public transport would only apply to non border districts while districts with borders to be closely monitored. Therefore today’s presidential address is something many Ugandans are looking up to, with hopes some of their questions will be answered by the president.

He also pointed out that finalist classes will be allowed to go back to school with social distancing taken seriously; at least a distance of 4 metres needs to be observed. These finalist classes are Primary seven (P.7), Senior four (S.4), Senior six (S.6) and finalists in different universities and colleges. More coming from today’s Museveni speech to the nation.

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We are an independent young journalist association with members in the U.S, Canada and Uganda. 

Our Plan is to avail News, Information and Technologies to remote places, specifically the refugee camps. Our founder realized that the UNHCR and its partners are not investing enough in providing news and information to the refugees making them vulnerable to fake news and rumors, something we are addressing. 

Kyangwali News is owned by Refugee News and Information Africa Limited (RNIA Ltd.). Among other things we are planning to address is the need for eLearning for schools through providing connectivity in the form of WiFi so students can easily surf the web at schools.

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