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Elderly Persons Struggle to Survive

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80-year-old Justine Nakijjoba, a resident of Kakoolo zone in Luweero town explains that her daughter who was working in a restaurant in a restaurant to support her was sent back home after it was closed due to lack of customers.
Justine Nakijjoba a resident of Kakoolo zone in Luweero town preparing beans for her single source on Thursday

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Hundreds of elderly persons and People with Disabilities-PWDs in Luweero town council are starving because of the COVID 19 lock down. Uganda has so far registered 53 confirmed COVID 19 cases.

To contain the spread of the virus, President Yoweri Museveni announced several preventive measures, which included among others the ban on both the public and private transport. He also suspended the operations of nonfood stores, weekly markets and public gatherings.

The directives have left many people without any source of income to support their families and dependents. The situation is worse for older persons. 80-year-old Justine Nakijjoba, a resident of Kakoolo zone in Luweero town explains that her daughter who was working in a restaurant in a restaurant to support her was sent back home after it was closed due to lack of customers.  

Nakijjoba says that her daughter used to work as a waitress where she would earn money to buy for and her five grandchildren. According to Nakijjoba since her daughter lost her job, they are unable to get daily meals. Kate Nattabi 75, another resident says her daughter who has been providing financial support is equally by the lock down, which saw the president stop all weekly markets where she would earn a living.

Nattabi says her daughter used to fry cassava to earn a living but even this was stopped, something that has plunged the family into a food crisis. 85-year-old Miriam Nakajjubi, a resident of Lumu zone used to earn her living from vending sweet bananas at Balikyewunya Roadside market that was closed because of the COVID outbreak.

  

Nakajjubi explains that she used to earn between Shillings 10,000 and 50,000 that would use to provide for her family but this is no more because of the lock down. Nakajjubi says she is struggling to provide for the family since the market was closed.

Mariam Nansubuga, another elderly resident is stuck with 15 grandchildren left behind by her deceased sons and others who are stranded in Kampala because of the lock down. Most of the affected people have scaled to a single meal day, which they serve around 4pm because of food shortage.    

Elders (Vox Pop)

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Namugera Nkokonyole, the Kakoolo Zone LC 1 Chairperson and his counterpart of Lumu Zone, Kisekka Ssaka say they have registered between 10-50 families each headed by older persons, which are now starving as a result of the lock down. 

Namugera says the situation has been worsened as many older persons and PWDs are already battling several illness that need proper feeding. The situation has also hit hard other people including refugees who have been involved in vending several items in town. 

Sadiq Musanvura, a Congolese National used to vend necklaces and other jewelries but this was also stopped leaving him stranded in Luweero town. Musanvura says his savings have been exhausted living him without food.   

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Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero District LC 5 Chairperson, says they have embarked on mobilising food stuffs to help vulnerable groups including older persons, People With disabilities and orphans among others who are hit hard by the lock down.

Ndawula revealed that they have already collected some food relief worth over Shillings 30 million and expect more people to respond to their call.  

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Luganda Byte

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Phoebe Namulindwa, the Chairperson Luweero District on COVID 19 Task Force, says vulnerable people will be the first to benefit from the donations received so far.

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According to National Population and Housing Census 2014, at least 15% of households in Luweero district are headed by older persons aged 60 years and above.

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