This week, Uganda went to a new level of lockdown – panic has risen, and food has become more difficult to purchase. There have been numerous reports of police brutality (although not in our area) and, for me, it’s hard to imagine just how hard living in lockdown would be without Wi-Fi, Amazon and Tesco delivery. Let alone with no electricity or running water.
Over the course of the week, the a little bit of HOPE team have been working closely with the local government and have focused their attention on helping the Busolwe Hospital – a large, government ‘funded’ hospital that serves the entire district – prepare for the potential of a COVID-19 outbreak in the area. Protective equipment has been almost impossible to source; however, we were able to drive all the way to capital city (150 miles away) to purchase a digital thermometer. Just let that sink in for a moment…
Something else happened this week though – and it is quite literally the talk of the town! After 25 years, Busolwe Hospital has running water again! Last year, the hospital’s acting administrator – and a good friend of a little bit of HOPE made it his mission to fundraise and repair the hospital’s water supply. He had very nearly succeeded – but money had run out, so we stepped in and enabled him to complete the work.
If COVID-19 spreads in Uganda like it has done in many European countries, it could devastate the country. Even if the virus itself doesn’t wreak havoc, the consequences of the lockdown – in terms of loss of livelihood, food shortages, break down in social cohesion, and violence against children – will be serious, and it will take many years for communities to recover.
We are therefore launching our biggest ever fundraising appeal. We would like to urgently raise £10,000 so we can begin to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading and
provide for the urgent needs of some of the poorest families in the world.
We are now working more closely than ever with the local government to plan and deliver support during the COVID-19 crisis. The team have provisionally been given ‘key worker’ status so should be able to move around relatively freely to support the most vulnerable.
As I’m sure you’ll understand, plans are being made and remade on a daily basis as the situation changes. But currently our priorities are:
- Providing information and education to reduce the levels of panic and help people take steps to avoid the virus spreading.
- Helping ensure the hospital has protective equipment for nurses and doctors.
- Fast-tracking the fixing of boreholes, giving people easier access to water to wash their hands frequently. (We’re also looking at helping families create safer hand-washing stations.)
- Delivering food parcels for vulnerable families who would likely face starvation if we’re not able to get essential food to them.
If you’re able to give £7, we could provide food for a family for one week. £28 could feed a family for one month. £2,800 could feed 100 families for a month! A borehole usually costs between £50 – £100 to fix – depending on how broken it is.
Thank you so much for standing with the people of Butaleja District. This crisis has demonstrated just how connected we are. Twice a week, the a little bit of HOPE staff team in Uganda pray together, and for the past few weeks they’ve been praying for you, that you would remain safe and healthy.
If you’re able to make a life-saving donation, you can do so now by visiting our campaign page. Thank you.