The Market Project Supports Nguvu Dairy’s COVID-19 Response
The coronavirus is hitting Uganda hard. The country’s coronavirus lockdown, one of the most strict in the world, has thus far limited the spread of the virus – but at an extremely high cost. With a nightly curfew and a ban on passenger vehicles, people are unable to get to town centers or travel to their villages to buy food. Compounding the problem, middlemen are hoarding foodstuffs, and prices of food and other basics have nearly doubled.
For the urban and rural poor already living on the edge, many are more fearful they will die of hunger than from the virus.
Nguvu Dairy has also been caught up in the lockdown. In late March, two of our sales force were beaten by local police in Gulu simply for selling yogurt. Non-food shops, hotels, and construction workers have been closed by the Ugandan authorities. Food sellers were ordered not to leave their stalls out of concern they might return to their villages and spread the virus. Nguvu was forced to send 69 workers home and close the production for an indefinite period.
Nguvu staff are genuinely fearful how they will survive under such orders. They live on the edge and simply have no margin when such crises hit. With no stimulus check in the mail from the Ugandan government, this crisis is really hitting hard.
Prevented from selling yogurt due to the lockdown, The Market Project is providing biweekly stipends to the employees of Nguvu Dairy until they can return to work. Each staff member also receives two bars of soap for their family. Managers are taking the time to hear from these men and women the challenges they face at home.
Once movement becomes less restricted, The Market Project will outfit the team with masks so that yogurt sales can resume in some rural areas. Nguvu yogurt is a nutritious food for villagers with few other options. We are eager to fully reopen when permitted so many more will have access to this healthy food source.
We at The Market Project desire to care for those in our sphere of influence. This is what being a global community is all about. Nguvu Dairy personnel have been grateful for the financial support and staff care extended during this difficult time.
Share from your abundance to meet the urgent needs of our Ugandan brothers and sisters. It is much appreciated!