As of April 1st 2020 the Trustees have decided to pause all of our current and ongoing projects in order to focus on the urgent need to help stop the spread of the coronavirus in the refugee camp. the situation in Uganda is that there are 45 cases and these people have been quarantined. However, they had been mixing with other people before they tested positive and it is anticipated therefore that the disease is likely to spread as it has in other countries around the world.
We received an update from Bishop Emmanuel on behalf of the Faith, Development and Relief Agency (FADRA) which is part of the Diocese of Kajo Kaji in Moyo. We asked him to let us know their most urgent needs in the Refugee Camp at this time.
At present (April 15th) there are no known Covid-19 cases in Palorinya Refugee Camp. However, although the Ugandan authorities have closed schools, banned gatherings and travel, encouraged regular hand washing, and spoken of the danger of close contact with others, there is what Bishop Emmanuel describes as an ‘information gap’ as the people are largely unaware of the international situation and the danger that they are in from the spread of the virus. Very few people on the Camp have a radio, so communicating the danger that they are in is very difficult. Although there is an enforced overnight curfew, people are still crowding together at the markets during the daytime and at gatherings such as funerals, and this is increasing the risk of the spread of infection.
If the virus does enter the camp, it will spread very rapidly amongst the settlements as social isolation is very difficult with whole families living in one roomed huts surrounded by thousands of other people, all using shared latrines and tap.
The Bishop has asked us to raise funds to enable them to:
- Purchase hand washing facilities such as soap and sanitisers. These will be stationed at the entry points to markets and other places where the community gathers, as well as being distributed to the families of the Bishop’s team in order to try to keep them healthy so that they can continue to serve the community.
- Communicate with the people through radio broadcast and explain how to avoid becoming infected, as well as to spread messages of Christian hope and encouragement. Although radios are scarce amongst the community, those who do hear will be encouraged to spread the word. A radio fee will need to be paid to make this possible.
With thanks to your continued support, the first consignment of soap has been delivered to the Diocesan Office in Moyo. They are beginning distribution of the soap throughout Palorinya Refugee Camp on the 21st May.
We know the importance and value of hand hygiene and good communication from our own experience. Although the situation we find ourselves in here in the UK is serious, the threat of this virus spreading through the Refugee Camp would be devastating with major suffering and loss of life and we want to play our small part in preventing this. We have set a fund raising target of £5,000 and we would be so grateful if you would kindly contribute to this urgent appeal for funds.
Please donate here. This will take you to our Give.net fund raising platform where you will be able to donate via debit or credit card and make a GiftAid declaration if you are a taxpayer. Thank you!