CSO COVID-19 RESPONSE IN ACHOLI SUB REGION
Cluster Coordination meeting
The period of the pandemic has seen the escalation of health, psycho-socio, political and economic challenges as well emergence of its own unique challenges. Acholi sub region, has recorded one of the highest number of the virus infections. With it many challenging issues have emerged;
1. The issue of GBV; Violence related to GBV has been before, and it is escalated by the Lock-down. A number of people, most of them women, have lost their lives to GBV than to CORONA Virus in the same period. It will definitely worsen unless the economic implication is addressed. Maternal health management has been complicated the more by difficulties to reach health facilities timely.
2. Land Conflict; the land question had been fairly subdued immediately before the Lock Down, however, many vulnerable people have experienced resurgence of land conflict since authorities have been locked out. More powerful people have started doing all sort of work in many previously contested land. As a result, violence has increased and resulted into a number of death and injuries.
3. Education during the Lock Down; Much as GoU has fairly managed a number of things during the Pandemic, Education has been rendered impossible for millions of children and students across the rural span of the country. Distribution of government home reading materials has been disastrous. Thousands of children are still to have a glimpse of the materials. The country up to now, is in hopeless suspense without any working date for resumption of schools. While this is a national issue, Northern Uganda is affected more as it has very low level of infrastructure to support distance learning; low level of electricity coverage, poor radio, TV and internet signals coverage. As a result, hundreds of children have gotten frustrated and have started moving on to another life.
4. Collapse of livelihood means; Livelihood of people who worked from hand to mouth. Government did not have comprehensive coverage of each category. For instance, Taxi drivers were supported while non taxi drivers of whatever kind were excluded. Thousands of women tailors, salon workers were locked out of businesses yet government support did not reach them. Tailors particularly tried on their own to cope through making of face Masks, only to be disappointed by governments take-over of the business.
5. Accountability question; It is never going to be possible, by design, to have proper accountability of public resources invested in the fight against COVID-19. First, intervention support given were never backed by data. For example, support to street children were not based on aggregated data nor a prudent budget. The number of bags of posho, beans…… is how far the accountability can go. Secondly, endless questions will remain unanswered in the mix of resources collected by individuals and companies as well as the linear grants from government to District Task Forces
Compiled by Geoffrey Okello