Our response to the COVID-19 crisis
The impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa has been very severe. The lockdown imposed in Uganda put a stop to all pubic transport. Suddenly there was no casual work available, and many
families are very hungry. Domestic violence has increased, and many teenage girls have become pregnant through offering sex in exhange for food.
On top of this, the northeast was afflicted with a plague of locusts, and Kasese District has suffered terrible flooding; four rivers changed their course and many lives, homes and crops were destroyed. Following an appeal, thanks to our generous donors, we were able to send nearly £4000 to Robert Bwambale and Emmanuel Masereka to help the victims with emergency food relief and help with replacing homes destroyed by floods. Read Robert’s report here and Emmanuel’s report here.
Robert, Emmanuel and many other Discover partners have been absolutely first class. They are working tirelessly to help and support their communities. Altogether, thanks to Discover supporters in Germany and the UK, we have been able to support our partners with nearly £13,000 to respond to this emergency and to provide seeds and training to increase future food security.
Supporting food security so that communities can cope in times of crisis is now priority for Discover. Throughout the lockdown in Uganda, in Kaliro District Eric Kihuluka and the Mikwano Project have continued to train farmers in theor Farmer Field School. Our Uganda national trainer, Rehema Namyalo and her Vumbula Masaka team are starting to establish a demonstration farm and training centre. This initiative deserves our urgent support – more information here.
In northwest Uganda, Christoper Nyakuni organised his local team to repair the broken water supply. Instead of collecting dirty water from a deep hole, villagers can now collect clean water from a pipe. Read the report.
In Zimbabwe, encouraged by the experience of Madagascar with the “Covid-Organics drink”, which includes Artemisia annua, Discover Zimbabwe has developed “Makomo Natural Tonic Solution”, a tincture which contains Artemisia annua and four local herbs. Tests will be conducted to assess its preventive properties against colds, bronchitis, fever, cough and general body weakness. If successful, this product will be made more widely available in Zimbabwe. Read more.
As in western Europe, many African countries are subject to “lockdown”, schools have been closed and public meetings are banned.
We are told to wash our hands regularly with soap and water. In Africa, water is a precious and scarce resource. The “tippy-tap” is something that features in all our training programmes. Tamima Omondi of the Fweny Self-help group in South Nyanza, Kenya, sent us this excellent video, which shows how, even where water in scarce, one can wash one’s hands with soap and running water.
This Discover leaflet describes the tippy-tap in detail.
Training seminar in Luweero, Uganda
Just in time before the corona crisis hit Uganda, another successful week-long training seminar was held in Luweero. It was organised by William and Anna Mwesigye who run a model farm and have many registered herbal products, and Rehema Namyalo, leader of the Vumbula (Vumbula = Discover) Masaka training team.
In addition to teaching organic farming and the cultivation and use of medicinal plants, solar technologies and liquid and bar soap making, this seminar included banana management, cassava cultivation and local chicken keeping.
Participants went home with their information packs of the Discover Starter-kit, the anamed Seminar Handbook and poster, their medicinal products, a T-shirt and a variety of seeds and seedlings.
Certificates were presented by the local ward councillor (LC3). The Luweero Discover group was formed.
The picture shows the construction of the tippy-tap.
The Discover tree planting programme continues. On 21 March this year, the International day of the Forest, Discover partners planted trees in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda. Many groups had planned to plant trees together with teachers and pupils in the grounds of local schools, but because of the corona crisis all these events have been postponed.
The day was celebrated successfully in Zimbabwe. The picture shows the headteacher of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Manicaland, Zimbabwe, planting a tree with his pupils. This follows an extensive tree planting programme conducted by Discover Zimbabwe in Manicaland in 2019.
July 2020; The first fish have been harvested! Kenja Thomas reports, „Dear Dr Keith, the fish have grown to a tremendous size. Families are really very happy. A big family of 10 people can harvest only two heads and get enough sauce for the family. In the local market, a fish that size costs 15000 shillings!
This is a big contribution to food security!
Annual report 2019:
The Discover Annual Report for 2019 features the training seminars of Vumbula Masaka in Uganda and the extensive work of Mikwano, in Kaliro District in Uganda, with schools and their Farmer Field School. It may be read here.
Uganda Partner Conference Handbook:
Following the Discover partner conference which was held in October 2019 a Conference Handbook was produced which also doubles as a trainers’ Resource Book. This may be read here.
Page last updated on 21 July 2020