The Covid Pandemic is effecting rural Uganda much, much harder than communities in the more developed nations.
People are Starving and there is no relief in sight. The national government is no help.
The Daily Monitor, one of the largest newspapers in Uganda, quoted the President Yoweri Museveni as saying, “If you were poor before the lockdown, you’ll be poor after the lockdown. Eat what you were eating before…”
That outrageous statement ignores the fact that millions of Ugandans live week to week and often day to day. The majority of families have no savings and no spare food.
The national level food insecurity in Uganda may be hard to imagine when the chaos in the US is often measured in rolls of toilet paper or how soon your take-out order will arrive. Food insecurity, viral infection, and deaths are a reality in the United States, but the majority of our citizens have access to resources to respond to the pandemic and the economic decline.
Rural Uganda has little in the way of resources and is barely functioning under a national lockdown. Public gatherings including the weekly farmers’ markets are prohibited and schools and small businesses are closed. A steady job with a salary was rare before the lockdown; now even those jobs are gone. Until recently, small farmers were able to sell bananas, or other produce for cash, but that is no longer possible. The national government has passed a law that giving away food is a capital crime.
New Vision Uganda, one of the country’s two largest newspapers, reported that President Yoweri Museveni has said that anyone who is found distributing food items to Ugandans will be charged with attempted murder and thrown into prison.
The national government of Uganda is notoriously corrupt. That means that food supplies donated for relief are often diverted to select groups and individuals. The small percentage of food that may get to the general public often never reaches the rural population.
Although Parliament initially demanded that food distribution should be done across the entire country, the President ignored them and the demand didn’t hold up, according to the paper. “The Parliament that had projected itself as the voice of Ugandans soon entered into the fray of sharing the Covid-19 loot with each MP walking away richer, while the people they represent starve.”
There is a little good news to report from the Bududa Learning Center. Grace, the Director of the Children of Bududa program was able to convince the local police to allow her to give out food to families in the program. She and Justine, the manager of the school’s guest house, contacted all the families and said there would be food for them on Saturday. The first person showed up at 6 AM.
Robert, the “Chief” of the Learning Center was able to get posho and they are giving out 5 kilos of posho to the orphans’ families once aweek. Posho is cornmeal porridge that is the traditional basic dish in Uganda. In some cases, it is the only food these families have all week.
Even in these dire times, the people of Bududa still manage to smile.
If you would like to help the children of Bududa and their families to continue to smile and receive some basic food supplies, please consider making a donation.
You can send a check made out to
Bududa America Foundation
c/o Barbara Wybar
111 Rex Street
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Or through Paypal by going to
Any amount would be greatly appreciated by the people of Bududa.
Thank you, Ron