COVID-19 response Uganda: water tanks, soap and information

ZOA is working in many of its countries to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. This is also the case in Uganda. In this article, Ellen Stamhuis – manager Program Quality in Uganda answers some questions about the help ZOA offers.

1.What does ZOA do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda?

ZOA runs a project in two locations in Uganda, Acholi and Amudat, aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. We focus on distributions of soap, jerry cans, water and water containers. Hygiene packages are also provided to several clinics in the regions to support the local authorities.

2.Why is help needed in these areas?

Nothing had happened in these regions yet to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. In a short period we initiated several prevention activities such as the distribution of extra water tanks and soap in villages and at clinics, development of information material in local languages, information via radio etc. ZOA was able to do a lot in these areas at the beginning of the crisis and still continues to help.

3. How do people react to the help they receive?

The local authorities and people in the villages are very happy with ZOA’s support during the corona crisis. Besides practical help and the distribution of goods, ZOA is part of a special COVID-19 working group in both regions. This allows us to respond directly to the greatest needs in the two regions. Through the active response and participation of ZOA in the COVID-19 working groups, permission has been obtained to go to remote villages, which were previously difficult to reach.

4. What is the risk for ZOA employees? 

There is no immediate risk because all ZOA employees adhere well to the prevention regulations of the Ministry of Health, such as keeping their distance and washing their hands.

5. Is there a fear of a coronavirus outbreak?

People in Acholi and Amudat were very worried when Uganda got its first corona patients in March. One of Amudat’s project managers explained: ‘Initially, people in remote villages did not allow anyone from outside their village, because they had heard on the radio that the coronavirus came ‘from outside’. ZOA employees were therefore not welcome at the beginning of the outbreak. But thanks to good information, cooperation with the local government and raising awareness about COVID-19 in local languages, the situation – fortunately – improved after a few weeks.

Click here to read more about ZOA’s response to COVID-19.