Our COVID-19 Food Programme: Supporting the Masaka Community through the Lockdown
Updated: Jun 14, 2020
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 plastic collection efforts are on hold, we're focusing on supporting Masaka, where we operate, through this crisis.
Eco Brixs is currently diverting 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, 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 Uganda Marathon 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 in Uganda (as you can read below).
The Food Programme
The food plan is designed to provide support to the most vulnerable households in Masaka. We're working with the Office of Resident District Commissioner (RDC), the Uganda Marathon's charity network, and the Local Chairman system to identify those most in need.
Below is a breakdown of what the programme provides and an idea of how much of a difference a small donation can make.
Each person receives:
6kg of Posho £4
3kg of Beans £2.70
1 pack of Salt £0.30
Each household will receive:
To transport these goods will cost £2.30, which means in total, a £10.00 donation will feed an individual for at least two weeks (probably longer) and make a huge difference to the community of Masaka.
The Eco Brixs and the Uganda Marathon Team - making up the packs to feed Masaka
In this video here, Tom, alongside the marathon team and Eco Brixs team, are packing up the beans to be delivered to the families. When this was filmed a few days ago, they'd made up 233 packs. As Tom, highlights, these 3kg of beans will feed an individual for over two weeks - most likely 3 or 4.
To go alongside the beans, maize is also being added into the parcels, which can be cooked up into a traditional, filling Ugandan dish known as Posho.
We are also including soap in the food packages, to help families maintain hygiene during the lockdown through the washing of hands - which is proving so important around the world at the moment in tackling COVID-19.
In true Eco Brixs style, we're pouring the soap we're purchasing into used plastic bottles in order to recycle them (after cleaning them), in order to enable easy distribution to each household.
Johnson, our operations manager, is driving the truck to deliver the food parcels to the community. In this video, he tells us about this and also shares his gratitude to everyone who is supporting Masaka through this challenging time.
The truck, now fully loaded with Maize flour and beans, will be able to feed 500 people for 2-3 weeks and make a real difference to the Masaka community.
The team will be preparing many more deliveries like these over the next few weeks!
Thank you to everyone who has already contributed towards this programme - we've been astounded by everyone's generosity and the impact it's making on the community of Masaka. Sadly, it is likely the lockdown in Uganda will last for some time yet, so this programme will become more vital than ever to help families keep food on the table. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.
Finally, please do stay safe during this challenging time.
- Feed an individual for 2 weeks £10 -
A massive thank you to those who have already donated to support these efforts! If you would like to support the food programme through this crisis, we commit to 100% of your donation going directly to supporting Masaka and we will keep you updated in how your contribution is making a difference. If you would like to read more about how your donation can make a difference to the Masaka through this crisis, you can read more details on our hospital and food programme here.