2017

05.05

UgandAbout

Ugandabout – aprile 2017

di

Alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nell’aprile 2017.

UGANDA: POOR GETTING POORER, RICH GETTING RICHER – REPORT
1 april 2017

SANITARY PAD CROWDFUNDING UNSETTLES UGANDA’S ELITE
1 april 2017

INCREASE OF MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT TB WORRIES LIRA HEALTH OFFICIALS
2 april 2017

IS UGANDA THE WORLD’S BEST PLACE FOR REFUGEES?
3 april 2017

UGANDA: GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP TAXES ON HOTELS
3 april 2017

TRUCKING WATER TO UGANDA’S REFUGEE CAMPS
4 april 2017

UGANDA AT BREAKING POINT AS BIDI BIDI BECOMES WORLD’S LARGEST REFUGEE CAMP
4 april 2017

UGANDA: 500.000 PEOPLE LIVING WITH CANCER UNKNOWINGLY IN UGANDA
4 april 2017

UGANDA: WITHOUT HEALTH, UGANDA CAN’T ACHIEVE WEALTH
7 april  2017

VOLCANIC MINERALS BEHIND MISTERY ELEPHANTIASIS OUTBREAK IN UGANDA
10 april 2017

UGANDA: 10 YEARS OF TRANSFORMING THE BANANA INTO AN INDUSTRIAL CROP
16 april 2017

VE LO RICORDATE JOSEPH KONY? PROBABILMENTE NO, ED E’ MALE
25 aprile 2017

UGANDA’S INFLATION AT 6.8.PCT YR/YR IN APRIL
28 april 2017

UGANDA FOOD SECURITY OUTLOOK UPDATE, APRIL 2017
29 april 2017


UGANDA: POOR GETTING POORER, RICH GETTING RICHER – REPORT
1 april 2017

The gap between the rich and the poor has continued to widen at an alarming rate, the charity organisation Oxfam reported yesterday in its study on inequality in the country.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 18 NGOs working with partners in over 90 countries to end the injustices that cause poverty.
The Oxfam report shows the richest 10 per cent of Ugandans have had their income grow by an impressive 20 per cent per year. This has meant that these 10 per cent richest Ugandans now own 35.7 per cent of the country’s wealth, leaving the remaining 90 per cent of Ugandans to share the remaining 64.3 per cent of national income.
But this still does not complete the picture for the poorest Ugandans. The report further shows that the poorest Ugandans have seen their possessions decline by 21 per cent over the past 20 years.
As a result, the poorest 10 per cent of Ugandans own only 2.5 per cent of the country’s wealth, while the poorest 20 per cent of Ugandans own a meagre 5.8 per cent of national income.
This tragic economic state of Uganda’s poorest echoes the Biblical truism in Matthew 13:12, which says: “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
The report, which was released at the Serena Kampala Hotel, is titled: “Who is growing? Ending inequality in Uganda”.
The report further shows that Uganda’s Gini Coefficient stood at 0.365 in 1992/93, in the year 1997/98, it increased to 0.347, and in 1999/2000, it rose to 0.395, in the year 2002/03, it shot up to 0.428, and in 2005/06 it stood at 0.408, while in 2009/100 it was 0.426 and in 2014/15 it was at 0.47.
Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality in a society. It is measured from zero (0) to one (1), with zero (0) corresponding to perfect income equality (everyone has the same income) and one (1) corresponds to perfect income inequality (one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).
In economic terms, a lower Gini coefficient tends to indicate a higher level of social and economic equality. For Uganda’s case, this clearly shows that income inequality is trending upwards.
A rising gini coefficient implies that though Uganda’s economy has been growing at a higher rate, the gap between the rich and the poor has been widening over the years.
Oxfam cites specific drivers of inequality in Uganda as meagre investments in health, education, and agriculture and blotted administrative costs of 15 per cent of total budget amid lack of critical services.
The report points out a grim statistic, showing that one doctor in Uganda serves 24,725 people. The World Health Organisation recommended doctor-to-patient ratio is one doctor for every 1,000 people.
The other factor fuelling inequality is widespread reports of displacement of poor households by infrastructure projects.
The report shows that whereas the level of poverty has been declining over the years, income inequality has been worsening. Absolute poverty stood at 56 per cent in 1992, and reduced to 31 per cent in 1999 and by 2014, it was reported at 19.7 per cent of the total population.
Regional inequalityThe Oxfam report shows that despite the decline in the national poverty at the national level, regional distribution of poverty reduction was mixed.
“The people of northern Uganda are eight times poorer than those in central Uganda and five times poorer than those in western Uganda,” says the Oxfam report.
The poverty level in the north stood at 72.2 per cent in 1992/93, 60.9 per cent in 1997/98, 63.7 per cent in 1999/2000, 63.6 per cent in 2002/03, and in the year 2012/13 it stood at 47 per cent. In the same period, the Eastern region registered a poverty level of 58.8 per cent, 54.3 per cent, 35.0 percent, 46.0 percent and 37 percent over the same periods.
The western region poverty level trends over the same period stood at 53.1 percent, 43.8 per cent, 26.2 per cent, 31.4 per cent, and 10 per cent, while the numbers for Central Uganda were recorded at 45.6 per cent 27.9 per cent, 19.7 per cent, 22.3 per cent, and 6 per cent.
The report further states that the Structural Adjustments (SAPs) and liberal economic policies did not create the anticipated jobs for the country.
From the gender perspective, the report shows that 50 per cent of the women are engaged in three lowest paying sectors (agriculture, domestic care, mining and quarrying).
“Women do most of unpaid care work (five hours compared to one hour for men),” the report says.
It also reveals that there is high youth unemployment of 83 per cent and that there are growth discrepancies in remuneration across various government ministries, departments and agencies.
Ms Irene Ovonji Odida, the executive director the women lawyers’ association FIDA, said: “We are faced with a worrying trend; the increasing income inequality and the consequences it has for our societies and for our economies.”
“Tackling inequality is a political imperative for the government if we are to move to the middle income economy, there is great need for social fairness and economic efficiency. Inequality hampers growth and undermines social cohesion by curbing opportunities, for the lower but also the middle income class,” she said.
More findings – The findings released yesterday are that over the 12-year-period between 1999 and 2011, the incomes of those of the richest Ugandans increased nearly three times as quickly as the incomes for those at the bottom of the income ladder did. In real terms, the rich Ugandan’s incomes increased by 8 percent per year while the incomes of the poor rose by a paltry 3 percent per year.
This inevitably resulted in a more unequal Uganda as the figures for the gini coefficient released yesterday indicate.
Gini coefficient is the measure for inequality in a society. It ranges from zero to one, with zero indicating a situation of perfect equality (where all people have equal income) and one indicating a situation of perfect inequality (where all the income is concentrated in the hands one person and the rest earn zero income).
The higher the gini coefficient the higher the inequality.
The Oxfam report shows that Uganda is more unequal than it has ever been since the Financial Year 1992/93. In that year, the gini coefficient was 0.365, but it stood at 0.47 by Financial Year 2014/15.Going by the latest figures, Uganda remains the third most unequal society in the East African Community.
Rwanda is the most unequal with the gini coefficient of 0.508 percent, followed by Kenya with a gini coefficient of 0.477, according to 2013 figures.Burundi is the most equal society in the East African Community with a gini coefficient of 0.333 percent, followed by Tanzania (37.6 per cent). Sweden was as of 2013, the most equal society in the world with a gini coefficient of 0.25 per cent, followed by Norway (25.8 per cent).
fonte  allafrica.com – David Mafabi & Martin Luther Oketch

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SANITARY PAD CROWDFUNDING UNSETTLES UGANDA’S ELITE
1 april 2017
Ugandan girls are missing school because they can’t afford hygiene products. Activists are helping out, but a crowdfunding campaign to buy millions of sanitary pads has fallen foul of the country’s authoritarian regime.

Dozens of children, clad in their white and blue uniforms, are sitting at their desks in their classrooms. The bell ring rings.  In the CARE primary school in the Ugandan capital Kampala, lessons are now over. But instead of going straight home, around a dozen girls stay behind in one of the classrooms. Tables are moved and sewing machines brought out. The girls fetch scissors, bits of fabric and patterns.
Sadat Nduhira is running this unusual sewing class. The 27-year-old artist is familiar with the problem troubling many of the girls. He himself grew up in a deprived neighborhood and his sisters also stayed away from school when they had their periods. As an artist, he experiments readily with lots of different fabrics and materials and last year it occurred to him that he could teach the girls how to make sanitary pads themselves out of old towels and cotton.
Distribute to other schools – Every tenth Ugandan schoolgirl stays away from class because of menstrual bleeding. Children from poor families can’t afford sanitary pads or tampons. Catherine Nantume comes from one such family. But now she operates the pedal-driven sewing machine with the confidence of an expert while the other girls watch.
School principal Sarah Nakabira and Sadat Nduhira with sanitary pads for poor childern from rural areas.
“I always used to miss school. That made me very sad, because I sat at home and did nothing. This project makes me very happy,” she said while bringing a new pad into position on the sewing machine. “We produce a lot of pads, we distribute them free of charge to other schools in rural areas and sometimes we teach the girls there how they can make them themselves. Perhaps they will then also distribute pads to other girls elsewhere,” she said,
Sadat Nduhira also explains to the girls how they can recycle their pads. After use, they have to be soaked in water. Then they must be properly washed in the morning and left out to dry in the sun. “Then you have to iron them with a very hot iron so the last remaining bacteria are killed off.  Put them away in a clean place so they remain hygienic,” he said.
Lack of government funds – Menstruation and sanitary pads are normally taboo in conservative Uganda but recently they became the subject of heated public debate. Even Uganda’s political elite is getting involved. During the 2016 election campaign, President Yoweri Museveni promised schools that they would receive sanitary pads free of charge. Many mothers then voted for Museveni, who appointed his wife, Janet, minister for education. But “Mama Janet,” as she is fondly referred to, was forced to acknowledge that her husband’s election promise was not that easy to implement.“The Ugandan state lacks the necessary funds to buy sanitary pads,” Janet Museveni told parliament in February 2017.
Activists are raising money on social media for the purchase of millions of reusable sanitary pads
Enter Uganda’s leading feminist Stella Nyanzi. She started a crowdfunding campaign on social media and wants to collect enough money to buy ten million reusable sanitary pads. So far she has collected 13 million Uganda shillings (3,270 Euros,  $3,500). “Biology is politics  – it’s all about power,” she complained. She lists the school leaving examinations as an example. The statistics show that girls from poor rural families perform worse than the rest. In the cities, where the girls’ families are better off,  they do just as well as the boys.
Broken promises and repression – Nyanzi  finds it annoying that women parliamentarians and the minister for education are failing to tackle the inequality suffered by poor girls in rural areas. “The government makes promises, but doesn’t keep them,” she said.
On #pad4GirlsUg, Nyanzi  has been criticizing women in positions of power in Uganda. There have already been repercussions. She was summoned by the police because she had allegedly insulted the president on Facebook. At the airport, she was prevented from flying to The Netherlands and was put on the no-fly list. She believes she could be arrested at any moment. Her campaign for feminine hygiene products has turned political and shows how draconian the curbs on free speech in Uganda have become.
fonte www.dw.com

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INCREASE OF MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT TB WORRIES LIRA HEALTH OFFICIALS
2 april 2017
Medical officers at Lira Regional Referral Hospital are concerned about the increasing cases of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis -MDR-TB. MDR-TB is a strain of TB that cannot be treated with the two most powerful first-line medicines.

Drug resistance occurs when TB patients don’t receive the correct treatment regimens or don’t complete the full course of treatment. Dr. James Elima, the Director Lira Regional Referral Hospital notes that the facility is recording an increase in the number of patients with Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.
He explains that between January and December 2016 they conducted TB tests on 5, 642 people and 342 tested positive. Dr. Elima says they conducted a similar exercise between January and Mid-March this year on 768 people and 105 tested positive, 13 of these were found with Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.
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MDR-TB patients take their medication for two years unlike the ordinary TB cases whose treatment lasts for only 9 months. Dr. Elima says MDR-TB cases are a big burden to the hospital, since their treatment is very costly.
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Dr. Raymond Byaruhanga, the Chief of Party for TRACK-TB, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development -USAID led by Management Sciences for Health – MSH, says the situation is worrying.
He explains that Lira Regional Referral Hospital is 2nd to Mulago National Referral Hospital in treating the biggest number of Multi-Drug Resistant TB cases. Dr. Byaruhannga blames the increasing number of MDR – TB cases at Lira Hospital on the medical workers who he accuses of mismanaging the cases.
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Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Aceng Ochero, says TB has been a burden to Uganda for a long time. She explains that Uganda registers over 89, 000 new TB cases annually, adding that prevalence surveys show that over 40, 000 cases of TB go undetected.
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She disclosed that it costs about Shillings 2million and 3 million to treat a single TB patient, and about Shillings 15 million to treat a patient with multi drug resistant TB. Dr. Francis Adatu, the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programmes Manager, says that 85 percent of the TB patients suffer from TB of the lungs and 15 percent succumb to TB of the borne.
fonte ugandaradionetwork.com

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IS UGANDA THE WORLD’S BEST PLACE FOR REFUGEES?
3 april 2017
A mix of Afrobeat and South Sudanese folk music resounds over the jumbled stalls and makeshift corrugated iron shops that form the trading centre of Nyumanzi, a sprawling refugee settlement in northern Uganda.
The settlement is home to more than 20,000 men, women and children who have arrived from bordering South Sudan, the world’s newest country, where conditions have been compared to Rwanda in the run-up to the genocide.
People who now call Nyumanzi home talk of leaving behind hunger, torture, looting and killings. Boys were forcibly recruited to join the fighting, women and girls raped.
But in coming to Uganda, they have struck lucky. Almost 400,000 people have fled to the country since July when violence resumed in South Sudan. They are treated perhaps better than refugees anywhere in the world.
“I call Uganda my second home,” says Jacob Yout Achiek, 36, who fled the South Sudanese capital, Juba, in 2013 and now runs a grocery shop.
“The office of the [Ugandan] prime minister is like our government. If you have a problem, you call them and they will respond immediately.”
In the past, Ugandans have had to flee to other countries for their safety, says Godfrey Byaruhanga, co-ordinator of refugee services for the government. Now it their obligation to “return the good”.
“Most of our leaders have been refugees, so it has been easy for them to embrace this refugee policy,” he says.
This attitude is in contrast to other African countries struggling to cope with rising refugee numbers. In Kenya, home of the world’s largest and oldest refugee camp, Dadaab, refugees cannot legally work and their movements are limited. They also live under constant threat that the camp will close.
While the majority of refugees in Uganda are South Sudanese, another 300,000 are from Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Byaruhanga says refugees have the right to work and are entitled to the same social services as locals, including free primary education and healthcare.
They are given small plots to farm in settlements scattered across northern Uganda, which the government does not call camps to emphasise the freedom of movement refugees have – and that they are welcome to stay.
Amou Deng was pregnant with her fourth child when she left Bor, north of Juba, on foot in the rainy season. She does not know whether her husband is alive because they were separated in the 2013 conflict. In January 2014 she arrived in Nyumanzi.
Deng joined a farming group that provided funding and support to help her grow maize, beans and spinach. As well as “providing us with food, we can also sell some [vegetables] to get money for other needs,” she says.
Achiek also got help to start his shop, a loan of $570 (£465) from the Lutheran World Federation, which works with the UN refugee agency and others.
His shop is well stocked with South Sudanese products from newly arrived refugees and Ugandan traders brave enough to venture across the border. The grant helped the business develop, says Achiek. “It’s now worth 5m shillings [$1,430].”
Achiek has also gone back to school, joining his children at Nyumanzi primary. Abuni Samuel, one of Achiek’s Ugandan teachers, says refugees have become “like brothers” and helped business in the area.
A recent study by the UN World Food Programme concurs, pointing out that refugees “benefit those countries that welcome them and give them what they need to build new lives”.
But even a country with a stated open-door approach finds its key services stretched by the sheer number of new arrivals. About 80% of the pupils at the Nyumanzi primary school are refugees.
“They sleep three or four in a room … they can’t revise properly. Then we are teaching them in two classrooms – where they are over 70 – so class management becomes difficult,” says Samuel.
Winifred Kiiza, leader of the opposition in parliament, complains that classrooms are so packed that children struggle to learn. On a visit to the settlement she said some refugees had had to return to South Sudan because there was not enough food in Uganda.
One local farmer, who did not want to give their name, is worried that there will not be any land left for Ugandans. The government has also been forced to cut food rations for those who arrived before 2015 and halve the size of farming plots due to demand.
Refugees also say there is no long-term plan for them. Deng says her land is not big enough to become self-sufficient but that she has no choice but to stay in Uganda. She has no husband and no home in South Sudan – only memories of fear.
fonte www.theguardian.com

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UGANDA: GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP TAXES ON HOTELS
3 april 2017
Government is finalising arrangements to have taxes on hotels in the country either scrapped or reduced so as to enable entrepreneurs invest in the business to attract more tourists, Minister of Tourism Ephraim Kamuntu has said.

“Many hotels in the country have failed to improve their services to international standards because of the tax burden on them. As government, we have finished reviewing the demands for hotel owners and we are ready to revoke taxes so that they could expand their businesses to attract more tourists,” he said.
He added that the scrapped or reduced taxes will be reflected in the 2017/2018 budget because government wants to increase the number of tourists that come to Uganda annually from the current 1.3m to 4m by 2020.
Prof Kamuntu revealed that the tourism industry currently contributes 9 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, adding that if the taxes on hotels are scrapped, government would collect much money due to the increased number of tourists caused by the improved hotel services.
“There is no government that can survive without the private sector and that’s why we have to consider some of their demands because they help us in terms of development. Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and this means that we must prioritise it as a country,” he said. However, he challenged hotel owners to train their staff on hospitality so that they could get as many tourists as possible.
He made the remarks last week in Kampala while officiating at the launch of the four tourism products that were unveiled by the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA).
The new products are; Uganda National Museum Indigenous dinner, Namugongo Shrine son et lumier, Uganda Rwenzori Cultural Trail and Interpretation capacity building for birding and the Uganda iconic tourism product development.
The UTA president, Mr Boniface Byamukama, said the development of the new products follows Uganda’s quest to be a leading tourism destination with the purpose of creating employment opportunities and increase revenue.
“I urge our partners in the government and private sector to take advantage and invest in these products. By working together, we will sustainably push Uganda tourism sector to the next level. We now have strategic plans that will guide us in policy and planning,” he said.
Mr Byamukama said that their strategic plans include marketing Uganda to the international arena, training tour guides and hotel managers and also embrace the use of internet to get more customers.
But he expressed concern over the high taxes levied on hotels yet others, especially those located upcountry, as well as very low occupancy rate.
Currently, hotels in Uganda have an occupancy rate of 17 per cent. However, if taxes are scrapped, Mr Byamukama anticipates that the percentage will increase since many hotels will then invest in having better services to attract more tourists.
fonte allafrica.com – Amos Ngwomoya

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TRUCKING WATER TO UGANDA’S REFUGEE CAMPS
4 april 2017
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees have fled violence and hunger in their home country for the safety of camps in northern Uganda. More than 50,000 of them now live in Rhino camp, a sprawling expanse of huts and tents scattered across dusty scrubland near the town of Arua.

Life in the camp is tough, but everyone seems to agree that one of the main challenges is water. There are no boreholes, and the few streams that flow through the area are often completely dry. When they’re not, the water runs a deep chocolate brown.
In response to the shortage, the International Federation of the Red Cross has resorted to trucking in water from the River Nile, which must be tested, treated, and re-tested before being offloaded into a fleet of tankers. It is then driven through the bush to the camp, where it is deposited in hundreds of smaller tanks, which must be refilled twice or three times a day.
Using a system of pipes and pumps, water is drawn from the river into floatation tanks, where aluminium sulphate is added to remove the sediment. The plant, which started producing water earlier this month, now employs more than 40 local and international staff.
Noor Pwani, a member of IFRC’s staff, said: “This is the only way we’re going to stave off infectious diseases – a major concern given unsanitary conditions at crowded settlements and the coming rainy season when vector and water-borne diseases flourish.”
Volunteer Agaba Derrick’s job is to constantly monitor the river water, which varies in quality hour by hour. His findings dictate how much aluminium sulphate must be added. Chlorine is also added to kill off remaining bacteria.
When the water flows out the other side, it is crystal clear. The plant is scaling up to pump out a million litres of clean water each day. The recommended amount of water per person, per day, in the camps is between 15 and 20 litres, which is used for washing and cooking as well as drinking.
A fleet of around 30 tankers ferries the clean water to distribution points in the camp, which need to be refilled up to three times a day. In some areas roads had to be specially built to handle the volume of traffic.
Monica Achan, who spent two weeks walking through the bush to Uganda after her brother-in-law was killed by soldiers, takes a sip of Nile water in her new home in the camp.
“Life is hard here,” she said. “But with water, we will survive. Water is life.”
fonte www.bbc.com – Tommy Trenchard

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UGANDA AT BREAKING POINT AS BIDI BIDI BECOMES WORLD’S LARGEST REFUGEE CAMP
4 april 2017
A compassionate refugee policy has led Uganda to welcome 800,000 people escaping conflict and famine in South Sudan. But the strain is starting to show.

The central reception area of the Imvepi refugee settlement, in northern Uganda, is packed to the brim. Thousands of people are crammed into a patch of land meant to hold just a fraction of the current load. They’ve been waiting for days, stuck in an administrative backlog the government of Uganda attributes to lack of funding and an unceasing stream of people from South Sudan.
Famine, economic collapse and years of fighting have forced people out of South Sudan faster than from any other nation on the planet. The stream of arrivals, who averaged 2,800 each day in March, has begun to take a toll on the country’s southern neighbour Uganda, host to roughly half of the 1.6 million people forced to flee their homes.
Uganda is feeling the neglect. The country has one of the world’s most compassionate refugee policies, which grants migrants land to build a home and enjoy rights to travel and work that are practically unheard of elsewhere.
But without relief in sight, the cracks are beginning to show. A single settlement, called Bidi Bidi, hosts at least 270,000 refugees – more than any other place in the world. It was closed to new arrivals in December to prevent overcrowding. Since then, new settlements have opened roughly every two months.
Initially, the UN expected roughly 300,000 South Sudanese refugees to come to Uganda in 2017. Just three months into the year, the estimate has risen to 400,000.
Filippo Grandi, the UN’s high commissioner for refugees, said Uganda was now “at breaking point”.
“Uganda has continued to maintain open borders,” said Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s prime minister. “But this unprecedented mass influx is placing enormous strain on our public services and local infrastructure.”
At the border, where refugees wait for days to make their way through the system, the untenability is growing increasingly evident.
“The pace at which people are coming is faster than the rate at which we are registering, so there’s a backlog of unregistered persons,” said Solomon Osakan, an official with the Ugandan government. “Unfortunately, funding has also not been going at the pace at which refugees are arriving.”
Jacqueline Girre, 26, waits at the congested Kuluba refugee registration centre, just minutes inside the border. She’s been there for two days, after walking past the body of her dead stepfather on her way out of her home town of Yei, 100km away.
“They have slaughtered him,” she says, accusing men aligned with the president of slicing her stepfather’s throat. “These are the Dinka groups.”
Thousands more refugees are packed into the main reception area of the Imvepi settlement, crowding into the small slivers of shade provided by UN tents and a few scattered trees. Perimeter fences are covered with drying laundry and the air smells of smoke from burning rubbish and cooking fires.
Crowds gather around every tent, as migrants wait for registration, a meal and medical care. Family members look for information about their loved ones who have fled separately and haven’t been seen in months. Some children have begun ignoring the latrines and are relieving themselves in public.
“We are now suffering because of food,” says James Luonga, 42, who developed a hernia over the days he walked from his home in the South Sudanese town of Kajo Keji before arriving at Imvepi seven days ago. Nearby, a long queue has formed at a food distribution tent as people wait to receive a hot bowl of porridge. “The people are very many,” says Luonga.
Imvepi has previously hosted Sudanese refugees during years of civil war preceding South Sudan’s independence in 2011. It closed several years ago but reopened in February, in response to the new crisis.
Roughly 3.5 million South Sudanese people – at least one-quarter of the entire country’s population – have had to leave their homes since war broke out in December 2013, pitting backers of president Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against those of former vice-president Riek Machar, a Nuer. Some have stayed inside the country, moving from place to place as the conflict or famine catches up with them. Tens of thousands have been killed, and the UN has warned the conflict could spiral into genocide. In February, it declared a famine in parts of the country, affecting 100,000 people and threatening 1 million more.
Yet even as the humanitarian crisis grows, the international response remains meagre. The UN has requested $781m (£625m) to care for the 1.6 million people coming out of South Sudan. So far, it has received just 8%.
Rose Mary, a 40-year-old from Yei who left after her neighbours were locked in their home and burned alive, has been given a small plot of land, but she says it is too far away from a water tank.
She is also worried that she might not receive the HIV drugs she needs from one of the handful of cramped clinics at the settlement, which treat mostly respiratory diseases and malaria. Mary was diagnosed HIV-positive five years ago. “If there are no drugs now, it will be hard,” she says.
Aid groups have created offices to support those with HIV and Aids, and say that it is relatively rare for medicines to be out of stock. Still, the chaos of the settlement has led to confusion and anxiety.
The US’s consideration of dramatic cuts to UN funding is adding another layer of concern. Last year, Washington provided more than $86m in humanitarian assistance to Uganda, including an emergency $40m to the World Food Programme in December for refugees in northern Uganda.
“That money is the one that is keeping refugees having food now,” said the Ugandan government’s Osakan. “If Donald Trump decided that this money should not come to Africa to help, then you certainly have a problem.”
Rains are due in the coming weeks, which will invariably lead to an increase in malaria cases.
“When rain’s pouring, we are going to have a lot of breeding places for mosquitoes and then some time after that we are going to have an outbreak of malaria,” said Charles Lajuu, programme manager with Medical Teams International.
Last year, with a much smaller refugee population, the number of new malaria cases in one block of settlements nearly quadrupled between March and May.
“Given the severity of the humanitarian crisis, many refugees arrive into Uganda and other countries in desperate need of assistance. And these crises always impact the most on highly vulnerable members of the population,” said Feargal O’Connell, the regional director of the aid group Concern.
“What’s needed is a durable peace so all refugees feel comfortable enough to return home. What’s needed, though, in the short term is funding.”
fonte www.theguardian.com

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UGANDA: 500.000 PEOPLE LIVING WITH CANCER UNKNOWINGLY IN UGANDA
4 april 2017
Over 500,000 Ugandans are living with different kinds of cancers unknowingly, according to Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).

Experts at the UCI blame this on the inability of medical personnel throughout the country to diagnose the different kinds of cancer and the reluctance of people to go for screening.
UCI registers 4,500 new cancer cases, which is only four per cent of the estimated number of case patients. Dr Jackson Orem, the executive director UCI, says statistics show that half a million Ugandans are not accessing services due to ignorance of the disease.
“It is very very difficult, I would say; it is very rare for you to go to a doctor or a medical personnel in Uganda and the first diagnosis is going to be cancer. The first diagnosis is going to be malaria. Okay let us rule out tuberculosis… By the time they exclude all these and know it is cancer, a times even the people who present early would have also progressed. That is a factor of training. So there is also need for us to train in the way we train our health workers”. Orem said.
According to Orem, the situation is complicated by the fact that by the time many people seek treatment, the disease is in advanced stages. Dr Noleb Mugisha Mugume, the head of Comprehensive Community Cancer Program at the UCI, says more than 100 people turn up for free cancer screening each Friday, while 32 people test at the private clinic each Wednesday from only 2 in 2009 when they started.
According to Mugume, many people wait for pain before they go to hospital for treatment.
“For cancers like the cancer of the breast, cancers of the skin there is going to be something that is evident that this person has a problem. But for many cancers like cancer in the lungs, cancer in the intestines, the person will actually be healthy and well. And so for many people they will actually wait for pain or for unbearable symptoms because this is what takes us to hospital… That’s why we are emphasising the factor of awareness for people to know that when you reach a certain age, you need to be checked for a certain cancer because if you wait for symptoms for the cancer to cause you to come, it is going to be late”, he said.
Paul Ebusu, the executive director Uganda Cancer Society, says Uganda currently they rely on the Kampala registry to plan due to lack of representative national data, which affects their interventions.
Cancer is a chronic disease in which body cells grow abnormally (proliferate) and spread to other body parts. The common cancers in Uganda are cervical cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, Kaposis sarcoma, Burkitt’s lymphoma, lung cancer, skin cancer, cancer of the bone, cancer of the eye, cancer of the colon, and cancer of the blood.
fonte allafrica.com

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UGANDA: WITHOUT HEALTH, UGANDA CAN’T ACHIEVE WEALTH
7 april  2017
Today on World Health Day, Uganda should take stock of the progress it has made in creating a healthier population. According to the recently released Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), there are some clear and positive trends: More women delivering babies in health facilities; substantial reductions in infant and under-five mortality rates; and an increased percentage of households with at least one insecticide-treatment bed net to combat malaria. These steps are important for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring good health and well-being for all ages.

But while these statistics are encouraging, they mask a troublesome reality: The health of most Ugandans remains poor, with children especially at risk. There are many reasons to explain this situation, but most boil down to the fact that the country’s healthcare system is under-resourced, mismanaged, and unable to meet the demands of a growing population. It is well past time for Ugandan authorities to begin investing more in the health and well-being of their own people, not just large-scale infrastructure projects. Without its health, Uganda will never have wealth.
Experts from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to the World Bank are clear: In a developing country, government must give priority to the health of its population. There is strong evidence showing that a government’s investments in the well-being of its citizens are the real keys to generating prosperity and progress.
President Museveni pledged in the 2001 Abuja Declaration to dedicate 15 per cent of the national budget to health. Today that number stands at just seven per cent. But the government of Uganda’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year recommends nearly a one-third cut for the Ministry of Health, plus reductions in other health areas and projects.
Uganda’s health sector is already not meeting the needs of its citizens, especially its youngest and most vulnerable. The average Ugandan right now is a 14-year-old girl, and this child’s health is especially fragile. She has a one-in-four chance of becoming pregnant before age 18; is likely to be sexually or physically abused at school; and is put at further risk by poor nutrition. A third of all new HIV infections occur among female adolescents, and the number of adolescents with HIV/Aids has more than doubled since 2001. There are still at least 2.4 million Ugandan children under five who are chronically malnourished. The proposed reductions to the country’s health budget will likely put these young lives in greater jeopardy.
If nearly one out of every three children does not have a healthy start in life, how can they be expected to grow into healthy and productive adults? If Uganda’s adolescent girls are not set up to succeed or thrive, how can Uganda? If future generations do not have their health today, how can Uganda become prosperous tomorrow?
The answers are obvious. Investing more in children’s health produces better educated and more productive adults. Ensuring the health and well-being of Uganda’s girls allows the country to harness the potential of half its citizens. Growing an economy requires a population healthy enough to work. These are the investments that ultimately matter most.
Building roads, railways, or airlines will not make or keep a population healthy. Hospitals, medicines, and trained health workers will, and these are the investments that should take priority. Ugandan authorities must also eliminate the corruption and inefficiency that has infected the country’s health system – and dedicate themselves fully to improving the health and well-being of their citizens.
The United States has done its part to help build a healthier Uganda. Last year alone, we invested nearly $500 million in the country’s health sector – more than what the government of Uganda has budgeted – in areas such as anti-retroviral therapy, tuberculosis treatment, and malaria eradication. This assistance is saving lives and improving the health of millions of Ugandans, and we are proud to contribute to such efforts.
But the Ugandan government now faces a crucial choice about the future of this country. Cutting health spending in favour of infrastructure projects jeopardises Uganda’s past decade of progress. It endangers the health of all Ugandans. Authorities must not risk undermining the country’s development by assuming others will continue to fill funding gaps that could leave millions sick and vulnerable. The international support Uganda has relied on for so many years may not materialise in a time of shrinking budgets and shifting priorities.
This may appear to be a tough decision, but there is really no choice at all. A healthy population is the foundation for growth and economic progress. Healthy children are more likely to stay in school and earn more when they enter the workforce. Healthy adults live longer and are more effective workers.
Simply put, health creates wealth. And so, the government of Uganda must invest more in its health sector in order to give this country and its citizens the healthy and prosperous future they deserve.
fonte allafrica.com  – Deborah R. Malac

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VOLCANIC MINERALS BEHIND MISTERY ELEPHANTIASIS OUTBREAK IN UGANDA
10 april 2017
Since 2015, health officials in Uganda have received reports of increasing numbers of people suffering from elephantiasis, a debilitating disease characterized by severe swelling in the limbs.

Clusters of cases were reported by local nongovernmental organizations in the Kamwenge District of Western Uganda, although the region wasn’t known to be affected or at risk for the condition.
The disease is typically caused by infection with parasitic worms, transmitted through certain mosquito species. But an investigation by the country’s Ministry of Health has revealed a new root cause: volcanic soil.
This method of contracting the disease is known as podoconiosis, or non-filarial elephantiasis.
The region’s soil comes from volcanic rocks formed more than 2.5 million years ago, and irritant minerals in remaining volcanic soil can cause itching, pain and eventual swelling and scarring after prolonged exposure.
Officials believe the current epidemic has been happening silently for more than 30 years.
Until the 1960s, the land had been covered in forest and generally occupied by hunter-gatherers. Farmers moved in and cleared the area, triggering the onset of exposure to these soils.
“When we looked at the data, we found a stable illness, not an increase,” said Christine Kihembo, a senior field epidemiologist with the Ugandan Ministry of Health and the lead author of the study on the outbreak, published Tuesday.
“This had been happening silently,” she said.
Kihembo believes the epidemic was aided by stigma and isolation of people with severe symptoms, as well as a lack of awareness among local health workers.
“Affected people were not reporting to health facilities,” she said.
Officials in the ministry are now working with local health workers to improve their knowledge and ability to manage the disease — which has no treatment — as well as inform the communities at risk to prevent it from developing.
“This disease is totally preventable with protective shoes and foot hygiene,” Kihembo said.
But the people living with this form of elephantiasis are generally among the country’s poor, meaning access to footwear is not always possible.
Spreading silently – In August 2015, the World Health Organization’s country office in Uganda received a report from a local organization of a “perceived increase in the number of elephantiasis cases,” Kihembo’s team wrote in their paper. A similar report was filed in 2014, leading the new reports to trigger an investigation.
We highly suspected it was podoconiosis when these reports came in,” Kihembo said, adding that people living in the region were predominantly poor farmers.
The team identified 52 people living with elephantiasis who, more intriguingly, had probably developed it between 1980 to 2015.
Further investigation found that 93% of those affected never wore shoes at work — typically farming — and 80% did not wear shoes at home. Another factor investigated was whether people washed their feet immediately after work or waited until the end of the day.
Seventy percent of people affected by the disease, as opposed to 40% from a control group, were found to wash their feet at the end of the day.
All signs pointed to contaminants in the soil, as people worked the land with bare feet and samples revealed earth rich in volcanic clays containing certain irritant minerals that enter the skin. The minerals cause itching and burning sensations followed by skin markings, rigid toes and swelling.
“Little crystals get into your lymphatic system. … After many years, they block it so the lymph can’t draw back and your foot swells up,” said David Mabey, professor of communicable diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who was not involved in the research.
fonte www.kxly.com – Meera Senthilingam

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UGANDA: 10 YEARS OF TRANSFORMING THE BANANA INTO AN INDUSTRIAL CROP 
16 april 2017
The wealth in matooke
Economically
: – At full processing capacity, matooke could significantly supplement the value of wheat in the economy and in domestic use for functions such as baking and breakfast dishes by 50 per cent. In practical terms, this means we can import half the wheat we are currently importing since we don’t grow wheat in Uganda, and replace its uses with matooke flour or products. We could have matooke biscuits, cornflakes, flakes, name it.
Nutritionally – Because it is rich in starch, matooke is a good energy providing food. Muranga in her research found that matooke was actually more starch than water, a property that made it as valuable as wheat when it comes to food processing. “I realised that fresh, matooke like most other staple foods, has too much water which increased when cooked and mashed. A child would have to eat loads of it to get enough nutrients from it hence the malnutrition. It would need to be expanded as porridge or cereal to allow for more nutrients in smaller contents like is done with maize. But matooke is very rich in energy.”
A fortune for farmers on the ground – The factory in Bushenyi when functioning full capacity would process all the available matooke in the country in less than a month although Uganda by far produces the largest quantity of matooke in the region. What this means is that wheat imports can be replaced by matooke by half. This would give matooke farmers a chance to earn from their produce as there would be more factories and products being produced from matooke. There is an unfulfilled market for matooke farmers. “With value addition processing at its full potential, matooke farmers can earn four times more profit,” she says.
For now, the initiative organises trainings for farmers on sustainable banana production skills including proper matooke farming and pest and disease fighting techniques. The trainings are done at a 24 acre model farm run by the Initiative in Bushenyi. The trainings have also yielded corporatives evolving from farmer associations in a bid to reach the farmer on the ground.
Special treasure to Uganda – The banana processing industry is unique to Uganda in the region especially because we have high banana production capacity. Muranga was the first one to research into the banana and discover its properties that qualify it to be an industrial crop from which numerous versions of products can be processed. “While matooke processing can be duplicated, no other country has the same home advantage and potential as we do in the region. We have, however, also taken legal procedures to protect our rights,” she explains.
I first met Rev Prof Florence Isabirye Muranga at Makerere University some years ago. I cannot recall when or trace the article I wrote about her then but I remember our encounter, two things in particular; her conviction about the untapped potential of the matooke (banana) plant and her office which spoke to her passion for the tooke plant before she said anything herself.
There was particularly an imposing painting of a tooke plant on one side of the wall in her office that made quite an impression. Again, I cannot quite make out the details of the painting, but its general effect stuck with me.
Muranga estimates that this could have been about 10 years ago. “I was at Makerere Food Science department then,” she offers, a nostalgic smile on her face.
Her excitement about her study discoveries was infectious. “I believe we can get more from matooke than we have realised. This plant has a potential to transform lives and our country economically; it might be our undiscovered treasure yet,” I remember her saying then.
Muranga’s big discovery was that matooke contained starch, a property which meant that scientifically it was, like wheat, manipulatable.
Catching up- The Professor’s circumstances when I go to meet her early this year have since changed. For one, it is not in her office that we meet but rather her boardroom. None of the artwork and décor in the room stand out this time round.
However, in a corner is a tray that bears proof of what she talked about then; an assortment of food products processed from matooke – Tooke biscuits; raw tooke and instant porridge flour from which she later shows me how to make porridge and solid food; matooke flakes for cereal, among other products.
“Let us just say that whatever you can make out of wheat, you can also make from matooke,” she says calmly, with more gratification than excitement this time round, with good reason.
Events have over the years since we first met in her office at Makerere colluded to bring her dreams to fruition, among the most fundamental of these being an encounter with the President in 2005, which eventually yielded the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID) in 2007. This initiative, for which Muranaga is the Executive Director, is responsible for the range of tooke (banana) products now on the market.
“One of the professors I met in German truly opened my eyes to what I had discovered with my PhD research in the banana when he said ‘What you have here is gold. This can turn around the fortunes of the farmer in your country’,” recounts Muranga of one other turning point in the journey that has led her to the point in her life where she is founder and head of the only banana processing industry/initiative in the region.
The beginning of a dream – It all began from an observant young girl’s curiosity, which years later yielded an academic research that eventually culminated into a whole industry.
Growing up in Busoga, we ate a lot of matooke. The general public perception was that matooke was nothing but water nutritionally.
But while the children who grew up being fed on loads of matooke were largely malnourished, the women who also largely fed on the same matooke were quite voluminous.
“These were the questions that eventually guided my choice to study matooke,” she explains.
Muranga belonged to the pioneer Food Science class at Makerere University in 1998. There, she also realised there was literature and studies on every food but her beloved banana, a staple for the poorer households in the country, including in her region of Busoga.
“I remember thinking to myself that we could be eating poison and no one cares; there was not a single study on bananas anywhere!” She determined to leave a textbook on bananas on the shelf, which became another motivation.
Still up to the challenge – It has been 10 years with matooke and Muranga perceives her work as a spiritual duty. She explains; “My prayer was always that I would invest time and energy in research projects useful and beneficial to humanity, not just to stock up on the literature on the shelves. I, therefore, believe that I was spiritually led to the banana.”
At the moment, PIBID has almost completed first and second stages partly evidenced by the 24 acre model farm in Bushenyi, efforts to build capacity for rural farmers in new production technologies, a matooke processing factory, among others. There are still the objectives of ascertaining sustainable processing of quality market-driven products, and many more.
It is all well because Muranga seems to have just started. When she tells you about the things yet to be done, her enthusiasm is palpable. In fact, according to her, she might be well on her way but she is only just beginning. There is still work to be done, but Muranga is still up to the challenge.
How to get the best of matooke – As a meal, especially for children
For a mother feeding her children on matooke, Muranga offers the following insights into how to make the best of a matooke meal;
– In children, you need to compliment matooke meals with more nutritious additions such as breastmilk since they cannot consume the large quantities required to provide them enough nutrients. The processed matooke products would otherwise be more nutritious than fresh matooke for children.
– For the weaned children, malnutrition is more likely if you are feeding the child on a predominantly matooke diet. You would get more value from processed matooke products which are expanded to add more carbohydrate nutrients.
– Matooke products are good for diabetics because they have no added sugars.
In the garden – A banana plant takes about eight months to a year to yield to grow to maturity. Under modified farming however, it takes only seven months. For those looking to grow matooke in your backyard or on large scale, she offers the following tips:
– Plant your suckers in deep pits so they will withstand strong winds or rain.
– Mulch, irrigate and intercrop with vegetables such as beans and peas to help fix nutrients back into the soild so it is rich enough to nourish the banana plant.
– Prune and ensure there is only one flowering sucker at a time on a plant to avoid competition for nutrients.
– When you weed, do not interfere with the root system as this is what feeds and holds the plant steady when storm and winds come.
FACTFILE – Rev Prof Florence Isabirye Muranga is the Executive Director of the Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development. She is married to Manuel Muranga since 19758. They have two sons.
– An associate chaplain at St Francis Chapel for over 14 years, Muranga is retired but still ministers.
– She is also a member of Makerere University’s Visitation Committee heading investigations into student affairs.
Education – Muranga studied in Kabuli in Busoga then went on to Gayaza High School for her Secondary School education. She holds the following qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree of Science and Diploma in Education from Makerere University (1975)
– Masters in Food Science from University of Reading in Europe (1990)
– PhD in Biochemistry from Makerere University (2000).
The focus for Muranga’s PhD was distinguishing the unique properties of banana starch.
It was findings from her research that President Museveni offered to finance to transform into commercial benefits for farmers, resulting in establishment of PIBID in 2007 premised on value addition to the banana.
When you remember me –  “I want to be remembered as having been accountable for all resources and opportunities within my reach,” says Muranga. Throughout the 10 years of PIBID, only a single turbulence is publicly known when in 2012 there were questions about the appropriation of Shs40bn by the Initiative.
Kenneth Asiimwe, PIBID head Public Relations and Communications, explains; “It was an accountability issue which was settled. Whatever was being queried was found existent on ground in Bushenyi. The facility is open to whoever is interested.”
fonte allafrica.com – Eunice Rukundo

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VE LO RICORDATE JOSEPH KONY? PROBABILMENTE NO, ED E’ MALE 
25 aprile 2017
Chi si ricorda di Joseph Kony?
Questa settimana l’Uganda ha cominciato il ritiro del contingente di 1.500 uomini di stanza da anni in Repubblica Centrafricana per la ricerca e la lotta contro il signore della guerra Joseph Kony, a capo del gruppo di guerriglieri ugandesi del Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Con il ritiro delle truppe Kampala decreta la parola “fine” nella sua lotta contro la ribellione dell’LRA: “La nostra missione” ha affermato a RFI il brigadiere Richard Karemire, portavoce dell’esercito ugandese, “non è mai stata quella di avere la testa di Joseph Kony o di catturarlo bensì quella di neutralizzarlo, assicurandoci che non abbia più capacità né mezzi per fare la guerra contro l’Uganda. […] Oggi Kony non è più in grado di reclutare i bambini, non è più in grado di armarsi come un tempo”. A fine marzo invece erano stati gli Stati Uniti, che hanno partecipato alla caccia a Kony dal 2011, a dichiarare concluse le operazioni contro l’LRA: in sei anni il governo americano ha speso “tra i 600 e gli 800 milioni di dollari” per dare la caccia al signore della guerra e ai suoi seguaci.
Era stato Barack Obama, nel 2010, a dare il via alle operazioni contro l’Esercito di Resistenza del Signore: all’epoca circa un centinaio di forze speciali USA erano state inviate in Repubblica Centrafricana e nel marzo 2012 la mobilitazione contro Joseph Kony, macchiatosi di crimini di guerra ed orrori incredibili, aveva raggiunto un piano internazionale: la ong Invisible Children, fondata proprio per diffondere consapevolezza sui crimini commessi dall’LRA, in particolare sull’arruolamento dei bambini soldato, aveva lanciato la campagna Kony2012 diffondendo un video, che oggi ha oltre 100 milioni di visualizzazioni solo su YouTube, e raggiungendo fette di pubblico ampissime. Nel giro di un anno alcune polemiche sulle spese della ong (il 25 per cento delle entrate fu speso per produzione video e spese di viaggio a fronte di un 30 per cento investito in attività in Africa) fecero crollare le entrate e nel 2014 fu annunciata la fine delle attività per il 2015: “Non abbiamo saputo raccontare la nostra storia” commentò Ben Keesey, a capo della ONG.
Nel marzo 2012 in molti avevano avuto la sensazione che, proprio grazie alla campagna di Invisible Children, i governi, l’ONU e la società civile si fossero veramente accorti della gravità dei crimini di Kony e che la fine di quegli orrori fosse veramente imminente. Ci sbagliavamo. A distanza di ben cinque anni i due principali attori sul campo, schieratisi in difesa dei più deboli, Stati Uniti e Uganda dichiarano concluse le operazioni senza aver raggiunto il bersaglio grosso: tanto di Joseph Kony e dell’LRA non si ricorda nessuno. “Anche se Kony non è mai stato catturato l’LRA si è notevolmente indebolito, anzi si è ridotto ad un gruppo ribelle insignificante. In questi anni abbiamo neutralizzato centinaia, forse migliaia di miliziani” ha affermato il capo delle forze armate USA in Africa Tom Waldhauser. Una motivazione, questa sì, che è insignificante.
Secondo gli americani l’esercito di Kony si è ridotto da 3.000 a circa 100 uomini e non rappresenta più una minaccia: in 30 anni di attività l’LRA ha ucciso 100.000 persone, ne ha ferite oltre due milioni e rapito, tra il 1987 e il 2006, oltre 20.000 bambini usandoli come soldati, schiavi sessuali, servitù. “Un gruppo ribelle insignificante” che tuttavia è sempre riuscito a nascondere il proprio leader, anche decimato, anche senza potere e senza uomini: Joseph Kony ha vinto, su tutta la linea. Dal 2005 il Tribunale Penale Internazionale aspetta che Kony venga consegnato alla giustizia: sulla testa del signore della guerra pende un mandato di cattura internazionale per crimini di guerra e contro l’umanità ma nessuno è mai stato in grado di catturarlo. Le sue truppe, quel centinaio di uomini rimasti, sono disseminate in un territorio grande quasi quanto l’Italia a cavallo tra Repubblica Centrafricana, Sud Sudan, Sudan e Repubblica Democratica del Congo, ed oggi gli garantiscono una protezione minuziosa: secondo quanto riferisce il New York Times, che cita fonti mediche locali, a marzo 2017 Kony ha attraversato la riserva naturale di Chinko, in Repubblica Centrafricana, accompagnato e protetto da 30 soldati e con 40 donne e bambine a fargli da scudo umano. Messo al centro di una fitta rete di protezione, Kony è scampato all’ennesima azione degli ugandesi contro di lui – l’esercito di Kampala è riuscito a soffiargli solo la vasca da bagno, che per anni il signore della guerra si è portato appresso – nonostante la sua posizione fosse ben nota, come mai lo era da anni.
Eppure Kony è protetto e guida “un gruppo ribelle insignificante”. Ma forse non è l’unica rete di protezione della quale si è dotato: il governo del Sudan, guidato da un altro criminale internazionale che si chiama Omar al-Bashir (anch’egli inseguito da un mandato di cattura internazionale in una delle pantomime più ridicole nella breve storia della Corte Penale Internazionale) non ha mai partecipato alla lotta contro l’LRA ed anzi ne ha ospitato le milizie almeno a partire dal 1994. Solo a gennaio 2017 il Sudan aveva annunciato di voler collaborare, ottenendo in cambio la sollevazione di alcune sanzioni economiche da parte dell’amministrazione di Barack Obama, sanzioni che potrebbero essere revocate completamente da Trump nel prossimo mese di luglio. E nel frattempo il Sudan ha ricevuto anche diversi milioni di euro da parte dell’Unione Europea e dell’Italia, per contribuire così al pattugliamento del deserto e al blocco dei flussi migratori che attraversano il Paese.
Kony e Bashir restano più che amici ma il vero problema è la nostra memoria storica, sia politica che sociale, che manca completamente: secondo un memo interno delle Nazioni Unite pubblicato dal quotidiano New York Times il ritiro di ugandesi e americani dalla lotta contro l’LRA è “una battuta d’arresto significativa” che potrebbe creare un vuoto di sicurezza che l’ONU “non sarà in grado di riempire”. Ma c’è di peggio: la decisione di ritirare le truppe operata dal presidente americano Trump e dal suo omologo ugandese Museveni potrebbe essere persino controproducente e portare ad un nuovo rafforzamento dell’LRA, che potrebbe lanciare – lo ha già fatto in passato – attacchi contro i civili per usare la paura come deterrente ed evitare nuove defezioni.
Ciò che manca è la memoria. Chi si ricorda di Joseph Kony? Eppure la campagna di Invisible Children aveva come obiettivo proprio la conoscenza, rendere nota al mondo la figura del signore della guerra africano, alimentare le coscienze e la mobilitazione, sensibilizzare. C’è riuscita per pochi mesi, il tempo di un video su YouTube e di qualche manifestazione per le piazze di mezzo occidente, ma poi? Poi siamo tornati alle nostre attività e alle nostre “preoccupazioni” mentre la violenza, la morte e la distruzione continuavano, mentre sulla testa di Kony continuava a pendere un mandato di cattura internazionale che oggi vale meno di zero per chi lo ha promosso. Figurarsi quanto vale per Kony.
fonte ibtimes.com – Andrea Spinelli Basile

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UGANDA’S INFLATION AT 6.8.PCT YR/YR IN APRIL
28 april 2017
Uganda’s inflation accelerated to 6.8 percent year-on-year in April from 6.4 percent a month earlier, fueled by a surge in vegetable prices, the statistics office said on Friday.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics said core inflation – which strips out food, fuel, metered water and electricity prices – rose to 4.9 percent from 4.7 percent.
Most parts of Uganda experienced a prolonged drought that stretched from early 2016 to early this year, which led to dismal harvests and a jump in the prices of most food items including vegetables.
On a monthly basis, the statistics office said, headline inflation rose by 0.4 percent in April, from 0.7 percent the previous month.
fonte reuters.com

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UGANDA FOOD SECURITY OUTLOOK UPDATE, APRIL 2017
29 april 2017
Below-average rainfall and armyworm infestation threaten harvest prospects
First season rainfall has been below average and erratically distributed in most areas. Planting was delayed in eastern and northern bimodal areas and in Karamoja and green harvests are now likely to arrive 3 to 4 weeks later than normal in these areas. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected in eastern bimodal areas and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely in Moroto, Napak, and Kaabong through July.
Armyworm has been reported in more than 60 districts in Uganda, and field reports indicate that maize fields have been widely infested in some areas. Crop damage has also been observed in high-production areas. Based on field visits and key informant information, FEWS NET estimates that first season maize production could be nearly 40 percent below average as a result of the combined impact of the armyworm damage and below average rainfall.
As of April 10, more than 830,000 people from South Sudan have sought refuge in Uganda, over 100,000 of whom arrived in March 2017. Funding has recently been secured to guarantee the continuation of full rations to South Sudanese refugees throughout the outlook period. With this assistance, most will be able to meet their basic food needs, but will remain unable to fund typical livelihood activities. This population is expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) through September.
fonte reliefweb.int

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Cambio valuta: in data 30/04/2017 1 dollaro USA è pari a 3.629,67 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 3.985,92 scellini ugandesi.
UgandAbout è un servizio di ITALIA UGANDA Onlus a cura di Lucia Supino.

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