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CoronaVirus Uganda

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa donates Ugx 1.3 billion towards COVID-19 relief efforts

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By Our Reporter

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda has handed over its contribution of UGX1.3billion with three brand new pick-up trucks added to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 fleet.

Prime Minister and Chair of the National Task Force for COVID-19, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda, welcomed the contribution and commended Coca-Cola for being a long-standing partner with the government in health causes.

“We are grateful for your support. Coca-Cola has been a long-standing partner with us in many ways. This is further evidence that we stand together. Let’s continue the fight against COVID-19 together,” said Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda.

Conrad van Niekerk, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Regional Managing Director in charge of Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana, stressed that the company contributions were only the first phase of the effort against COVID-19 in Uganda.

“At Coca-Cola Beverages Africa we always look for meaningful ways in which we can contribute to the local communities we serve, whether by partnering with stakeholders such as the government and NGOs or engaging in wider community causes. Our company purpose: ‘refresh the world and make a difference in the community’ is the guiding principle that drives our community outreach activities,” he said.

“Since the outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Uganda, we have been working with the Ministry of Health to support and implement measures to curb its spread. We believe in sustainability – of business and the communities in which we operate. This is an operating ethos that we carry throughout our business every single day. As Coca-Cola, we have carried out different interventions. Apart from taking care of our staff, we have been working with different partners to support our communities in various ways,” he added.

On receiving the vehicles, Minister in charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, emphasized that the contribution would go a long way in enabling the frontline staff to further transverse the country providing assistance and monitoring the spread of the virus.

“We are grateful to Coca-Cola for always prioritizing the wellbeing of Ugandans in the different communities across the country. A pandemic like this one calls for public-private partnerships and we have found Coca-Cola to be a reliable partner,” she said.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine, thanked the company for the wide range of support provided to the ministry in the fight against COVID-19, including handwashing support and public awareness.

“Your contributions will help us sink the message deep into the farthest corners of Uganda, among all the people. The catchphrase you have chosen of #StaySafeUG is very important in all our messaging, and you have truly gotten involved in this struggle through handwashing and publicity,” she said.

The Coca-Cola contribution towards curbing the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda included a consignment of food relief worth UGX390million from The Coca-Cola Foundation, distributed through the Uganda Red Cross Society to vulnerable families affected by the lockdown. The company also donated Ush85million to the Ministry of Health to buy medical equipment and sundries.

Alongside the Ministry of Health, CCBA is currently running a handwashing intervention that involves setting up Handwashing facilities to increase public hygiene. So far, the company has erected four (4) 5,000litre Community Handwashing Tanks in Namanve, Kyambogo and Mbarara Central Market.

The company went further to manufacture Hand Sanitizer that is being distributed free of charge to select segments of society across the country, including those involved in fast-moving consumer goods wholesale and retail trading.

“We are very happy to make this contribution while working closely with different government entities in the fight against COVID-19 for the greater good. When all this passes, all that will be left will be our people, so we have to stand strong together,” van Niekerk reiterated.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

Great Lakes Energy Company donates 5 Brand New Cars to COVID-19 Taskforce

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Great Lakes Energy Company has donated five brand new Nissan Double Cabin Pick-ups to the Covid-19 national taskforce.

By Our Reporter

Great Lakes Energy Company (GLE) has handed over five brand new Nissan Double Cabin Pick-ups worth 134,300 US Dollars (approximately UG Shillings 507.6m) to Hon. Mary Okurut, the Minister In Charge of General Duties and the head of the Government Covid-19 taskforce.

The five cars will help transport medical workers and distribute food across Uganda as the country continues to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

GLE has always contributed to the communities that they operate in across Africa by supporting sustainable development projects, mainly in Health, Education and Conservation.

Commenting on the donation, GLE Director Michael Kearns said: “Given the gravity of the ongoing pandemic, we felt it prudent to respond to the President of Uganda’s appeal for additional logistical support to boost the Ministry of Health’s fleet. We are honored to contribute to the alleviation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda by donating these 5-brand new pick-up trucks that will be used to transport food and medical workers to the areas they are needed the most”, he noted.

Speaking on behalf of the COVID-19 taskforce, Hon. Mary Okurut thanked GLE for the donation that will go a long way in providing additional support to the taskforce as it implements the different interventions to curb the spread of the virus.

Guided by two main pillars of strengthening healthcare infrastructure and providing assistance to the most vulnerable communities, GLE allocates funds, separate to the operational business expenditure, to support chosen philanthropic and Corporate Social investment endeavors. Last year, the company worked with local partners to fund a health outreach activity in Rushere district as well as a youth sports tournament to teach Uganda youth about teamwork and leadership.

This donation is part of Janus Continental Group’s Africa-wide COVID-19 response and shows the huge potential of public and private sector partnership, bolstering the efforts of civil society and healthcare institutions. Standing together with governments and societies, JCG is guided by the WHO call for whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January 2019, GLE completed the $25 million Uganda-based Kabulasoke solar power plant developed in conjunction with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd. The 24MW solar power plant, which is already connected to the national grid, serves over five million people in rural Uganda.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

Stanbic Bank donates Ugx 140 million in relief food to vulnerable communities

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Stanbic Bank contributed Ugx 140 million used for purchasing food items for the communities in which they are operating in.

By Our Reporter

In a bid to support vulnerable communities across the country that have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, Stanbic Bank contributed a further Ugx 140 million used for purchasing food items for the communities in which they are operating in.

Through the different branches across the country Stanbic Bank employees distributed food items to over 4,000 individuals among vulnerable communities across the country.

Speaking during the handover of food items to Loving Hearts Babies Home, Munyonyo children’s home, Stanbic Bank Uganda Corporate Social Investments Manager, Ms Barbara Kasekende said, “At Stanbic Bank, we understand the drastic effects the lockdown has hard on some of the communities in which we operate it. As a business, we are reaching out to show our support and further encourage the vulnerable in our communities.”

“Stanbic’s sustainability vision focuses on Social, Economic and Environmental (SEE) goals, where we aim to ensure we create shared value in the societies and environment in which we operate.” She added.

One of the communities supported, Loving Hearts Babies Home, Munyonyo has over 30 babies and 13 members of staff at the moment. The Loving hearts team also reaches 200 plus homes in the community.

Stanbic had earlier contributed UGX 100 million towards the National COVID19 task force, and another UGX 20 million through the Uganda Bankers Association.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

How Kampala top Hotels were hired as quarantine centers

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By Reporter

On March 15, cabinet passed a resolution to hire a number of hotels in Kampala and across the country to work as quarantine centers as the country’s health experts prepared to combat the Coronavirus pandemic in case it is confirmed in Uganda.

The decision to search for these hotels was prompted by Ministry of Health’s request that travelers arriving in Uganda both nationalities and foreigners needed to be put under mandatory quarantine for 14 days as their health would be monitored.

This was at a time, foreign countries especially Italy, Spain, USA, France, and several other African nations had started registering rising number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

At the time, travelers entering Uganda were only quarantined at Central Inn, a hotel in Entebbe and the numbers were gradually overwhelming.

It must be noted that that time, Uganda hadn’t registered its first case.

As Central Inn became full Ministry of Health took travelers to Imperial Royale Hotel in Entebbe, but the owner Karim Hirji rejected them saying he wasn’t ready to host COVID-19 suspects.

The travelers were then taken to Metropole Hotel in Kololo but management rejected them.

The argument was if these hotels agreed to host the travelers who were perceived as COVID-19 suspects, they would lose clientele.

Against that backdrop, cabinet in a confidential memo seen by TrumpetNews then tasked State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda to search for cheap facilities in Kampala and across Uganda where government would be able to place the travelers who were pouring in Uganda for mandatory quarantine.

Cabinet chose Kiwanda because with his docket because he is conversant with accomodation facilities in the country.

This website understands that many hotel owners in Kampala were not ready to risk allowing COVID-19 suspects in their hotels.

Therefore, Kiwanda, also considered hostels as long as their owners accepted to accommodate the travelers.

Minister Kiwanda thus entered in agreement with Kingdom Katomi Hotel along Entebbe which belongs to prof. Gilbert Bukenya, Nyumbani Hotel in Kikoni Makerere that is owned by Minister Frank Tumwebaze, Grand Global Hotel and Douglas Villa Hostel owned by former Minister Nyombi Tembo.

Therefore, all travelers who arrived in Uganda at a time the country was on high COVID-19 alert were quarantined in these hotels-turned facilities.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

StarTimes ends football slumber as Bundesliga returns

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By Reporter

When the German football league, the DFL, announced that the Bundesliga would return on May 16, it was music to football fans’ ears after a long football hiatus.

The league had been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Early April, German club players started training again. And as of now, Bundesliga is the first and only major football league to be back in action.

As the Bundesliga strategic partner, digital TV operator StarTimes will broadcast all matches live and exclusive in Africa.

StarTimes Brand & Marketing Director Isma Lule says, “It has been a tough period for football fans around the world. We were very happy to have StarTimes bring back live football in Africa. Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world. It is a pleasure to watch these great clubs, Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke 04 and others play again.”

All matches are being broadcast on five sport channels on StarTimes, live and in HD, and on the streaming mobile application StarTimes ON, so top fans can watch games concurrently on several devices and won’t miss one minute of action. A series of strict protective measures were implemented to avoid the spread of the virus and all games are being played behind closed doors.

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