REPORT ON FOOD SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION TO GRANDMOTHERS DURING THE CORONA PANDEMIC
With the growing threat of the COVID-19 outbreak in Uganda and all over the world. The Ugandan government like others has been forced to declare nationwide shutdown as part of efforts to prevent the virus from spreading to other parts of the country.
With these directives from the government, it is recommended that every one young or old stay at home.
But for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new corona virus, older people that are especially vulnerable to severe illness, particularly those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, lung and heart disease or cancer are more likely to be more vulnerable and have severe infection from CORONA than any other age groups.
For older people with sufficient resources, the message is clear “stay home, stock up food and supplies or basic necessities and avoid group activities.
For Grandmothers in rural Jinja, this message is a night mare. They don’t have that luxury and ability to stock enough foods and other requirements and access medical supplies during the lock down and threat. They happen to be among the millions of low income seniors with no access to pension and insufficient resources. Most of their livelihoods and income opportunities are cut off by the need to keep safe at home. Until the pandemic eases, these grandmothers are cut off from a lot of services and their daily lives. These grandmothers face barriers to obtain essential food and supplies during lock down
To respond to this crisis, PEFO Sent out an appeal and received an emergency funding from Grannies2Grannies Netherlands and Max Maakt Mogelijk to provide medicine and food support to over 1000 grannies under PEFO care. PEFO working with authorized government agencies, running a door to door Emergency food support for over 1000 grandmother’s households under PEFO programme care for care givers. Each grandmother receives supplies including maize flour, Beans, soap, salt and medicine as need may arise. The food and medicine have been purchased and stored at PEFO offices.
The distribution of these items is being made to over 1000 grandmothers from 10 of the different grandmothers groups including Tusobola, Tulikilala, Akuwa-lukolo, Mukisa, Babonere-kwiffe, Annonya -Alaba, Balyeyidusa, Good hope, Basoka- kwavual and Bukade- magezi in Jinja District. Most of the granny households reached has had to survive on one meal a day saving the rest of the food for the unexpected days to come.
THE CASE STORY OF KAMUYATI KAWESA
Kamuyati Kawesa is an 82 year old grandmother and a group member of Bukadde Magezi Granny group under PEFO. Four years ago, she was diagnosed with high blood pressure by the doctor who further discouraged her from any intense work like digging. Since then, she has been living with her oldest daughter who then supported the whole family until she died last year in 2019 leaving 9 grandchildren under her care.
PEFO offered her some capital to start up a small business to support her grandchildren which she used to stock a few retail items to sell from home to the neighboring community. She has therefore been using most of the small profits to provide for her grandchildren.
Her oldest granddaughter Babirye was also forced to drop out of school to help her grandmother in the garden and provide for her siblings since the death of their mother. With this total lock down in the country. They can no longer access the whole sale shops to stock the retail items to sell. Transport is closed and directives call for staying home to keep safe.
To feed 9 grandchildren, granny kamuyati needs at least a minimum of 2kgs of maize flour and kilograms of beans a day. The plants in their garden are not ready yet the business is at a standstill. During such a time, Kamuyati has to stretch a hand using all her little profits and capital from the business to support the large number of children. When it comes to the worst, they have one light meal or find unripe fruits from the trees around to fill the stomach. But with this Emergency support from PEFO, They get to survive for a few days with access to maize flour, beans, salt and soap. It relieves the grandmother from high pressures to support the family and allows her to plan for the days to come, for such cases like Kamuyati, support from PEFO remains her biggest savior. Thank you very our donors.