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Ugandan Company Leads Fight Against Food Wastage

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By Staff Writer
Bringo Fresh has announced a continent wide campaign to curb food wastage in Uganda. According to their CEO Brian Matsiko their aim is to foster food security in the country.
“Food security means that all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (World Food Summit, 1996),” Brian Matsiko explained.
He added that by supporting platforms like Bringo Fresh, people eliminate the food wastage caused by post-harvest loss, as they are supporting all the farmers in the food chain.

“Bringo Fresh helps carb food wastage by providing a ready market for farmers so that there is no post-harvest loss” Picture- A bringo Fresh delivery
“By supporting companies and solutions, like www.bringofresh.com which bridge the gap between the farmers and the consumers as food is not just wasted at the end of the food path by consumers but also on the farms through post-harvest loss. Post-harvest losses have significant nutritional, health, and financial impacts for both consumers and farmers, disproportionately affecting women, who are largely responsible for managing post-harvest drying, cleaning, and storage. For rural families, many of whom already live on the edge of hunger, lost food means lost land, water, fertilizer and income for those who can least afford it. With a fresh food delivery service such as www.bringofresh.com you can easily order only what you need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis,” Matsiko explained further.
How a bringo Fresh box looks like. They deliver fresh and organically farmed food products.
She added that the food security has a global and long term element to it, considering that there will be nine billion (9Bn) people to feed in the world by 2050 and it can be targeted at national, local and even individual level. Food is lost or wasted throughout various stages of the food supply chain. During agricultural production and harvest, crops can become damaged or spilled, animals may die due to diseases, fish may be discarded during fishing and milk could be lost due to cattle diseases. Crops, animals, fish or milk may be lost during post-harvest handling, storage and in transportation. During processing, food may be lost or degraded during washing, peeling, slicing, canning, packaging etc.; or during slaughtering, smoking, freezing or pasteurising. During distribution, food may be lost or wasted during transport or expiry at wholesale markets, supermarkets, retailers, etc. Finally, consumers may waste food by simply throwing it away.
The United Nations estimates that one in nine people in the world do not have access to sufficient food to lead a healthy life. More people are reported to die from hunger every day than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. But at the same time, nearly one-third of the food that is produced in the world is lost or wasted due to one reason or the other. Food wastage, which includes both food loss and food waste, is not only morally irresponsible, but also causes huge economic losses as well as severe damage to the world around us.
The FAO estimates that roughly one-third of the edible portions of food produced for human consumption gets lost or is wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion tons per year. The value of food lost or wasted annually at the global level is estimated at US$1 trillion. Yet reliable numbers on specific numbers of wastage are not documented.
In low-income countries, such as Uganda, food is mainly lost during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain and much less food is wasted at the consumer level.
In Kampala city, solid waste is managed by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in collaboration with private companies. Available information shows that each household in Kampala generates approximately between 0.5kg and 1.1kg per capita of solid waste per day. Going by Kampala’s population estimated at 1.5 million (UBOS), it is predicted that about 750,000kg or 750 tonnes of waste are generated in Kampala per day.
However, on average, only 50% (375 tonnes of waste) is collected by KCCA and private companies per day. KCCA acknowledges that the amount of solid waste generated overwhelms its capacity to collect and dispose of due to financial and technical challenges (Water Aid, 2011).
The urban solid waste composition is 37.8% (food waste), 33.6% (yard wastes), 6.7% (paper), 0.8% (metals), 7.8% (plastics), 8.6% (stones & debris),1.3% (textiles), 0.7% (glasses) and 2.7 (miscellaneous) which is typical of the East African urban areas.
The local governing bodies are mandated by the Local Government Act (LGA) of 1997 to provide and maintain waste management infrastructures. They can contract private companies to manage waste under supervision.
Kampala is the only urban council with a sanitary landfill owned by the city but operated by a private company. All other waste disposal sites are owned and operated by the UCs themselves and are poorly managed since most resources are allocated to waste collection and not to disposal management. Wastes of mixed origin (e.g., domestic, industrial, healthcare and commercial) are disposed together at these disposal sites. Table 3 summarizes the major problems from solid waste disposal sites.
Why should I care?
Food waste that ends up in landfills produces a large amount of methane – a more powerful greenhouse gas than even CO2. For the uninitiated, excess amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane, CO2 and chlorofluorocarbons absorb infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change.
With agriculture accounting for 70% of the water used throughout the world, food waste also represents a great waste of freshwater and ground water resources. It is said that a volume of water roughly three times the volume of Lake Geneva is used just to produce food that is not eaten. By throwing out one kilogram of beef, you are essentially wasting 50,000 litres of water that were used to produce that meat. In the same way, nearly 1000 litres of water are wasted when you pour one glass of milk down the drain.
Millions of gallons of oil are also wasted every year to produce food that is not eaten. And all this does not even take into account the negative impacts on biodiversity due to activities like mono-cropping and converting wild lands into agricultural areas.
What is being done in Uganda?
As part of its efforts to support smallholder farmers and agricultural markets, WFP is strongly promoting a greater focus on reducing food losses throughout the value chain.
WFP had developed an initiative in Uganda called “Zero Food Loss”, combining training & airtight storage to tackle high-levels of post-harvest loss.

Under the “Zero Food Loss” initiative, this effective, scalable, and replicable model tested in Uganda continues to create demand from other countries. 18 developing countries have already visited Uganda to learn about the “Uganda Model”, with nine beginning their own rollouts of post-harvest loss national programs.
What can I do as an individual?
These are the known and new interventions to reduce food wastage and their efficacy on the individual level. This is a guide to what an individual can do as his/her personal contribution to curbing food wastage, as the adage goes; charity begins at home.
On a day – to – day basis you may monitor and reduce food wastage in your homes by buying only the food that your family will finish.

Know what types of food rot at a higher rate than other perishables and purchase less of the fast expiring foods or find their alternatives. One may also buy the fast perishing produce when they are at an early ripening stage so as to increase their shelf life. Beef does not go bad quickly but chicken, fish and others do. It is better you buy what you can consume and the rest may be spiced and deep frozen it.
So start planning what to buy, how many people will be eating and only buy food that people will eat and finish.

Before buying that food, come up with a shopping list and stick to it to help you avoid wasting food and money. Knowing what you will be eating as a family in the form of a weekly menu helps you to apportion produce to the dishes and buy only what you need on a weekly basis.
Consumers should also try to buy food in accordance with a meal plan so that they don’t end up wasting edible food. Food may be cheaper when you purchase in bulk, but in reality, you are not really saving money when all you are doing is throwing it away at the end of the week.
If the food still ends up unfit for human consumption, it can be used for feeding livestock, saving precious resources that would have otherwise been used for producing commercial feed, food like vegetables and fruit may be fed to herbivorous farm animals and pets. If the food cannot be reused at all, then we should at least try to recycle it in a responsible way instead of sending it to the garbage landfill where it will continue to rot. Did you know that an average home can divert about 150 kg of food waste a year from local waste dumping facilities by adopting home composting? Home composting may spark off your own urban farming garden and help to teach you and your family about the cycle of food. Some households and individuals, practice solid waste recycling, re-use, composting and biogas production. These are waste minimization options with social, economic and environmental benefits.

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Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s Corporate Social Responsibility Are Paying Off in Northern Uganda

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Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Northern Uganda continues to empower communities to uplift themselves. Ayabatwa’s CSR in this case is based on food security, income-generation, afforestation and access to clean water. 

1. FOOD SECURITY 

Ayabatwa’s company based in Northern Uganda established the Arua Organic Agricultural Centre (AOAC) which demonstrates to communities best practices in food production. 

Crucially, AOAC teaches farmers continuous farming even where rains are scarce. Solar-powered irrigation is now operational, which permits the growing of over 15 different food crops.

A key aspect is to keep these crops well mulched helping the soil to retain more moisture, keeping the temperature low and increasing the soil fertility.

Overall, encouraging and supporting farmers not only to improve food security but also to generate incomes is central. For example, a small farm can produce more than required to sustain a family. By adopting good agricultural practices farmers produce excess food thereby helping to improve Uganda’s food security.

2. INCOME-GENERATION

Farmers are continuously sensitized to expand their income portfolio and not depend only on cash crops. These are several initiatives in this regard. In the case of bee-keeping, 9 apiaries were installed in all regions where farmers learn best practices in bee-keeping. Second, farmers are assisted to grow their own mini forests. A small forest can produce enough wood for domestic consumption and provide extra income every year by selling construction material and charcoal.

3. AFFORESTATION 

In the area of afforestation, 2.4 tree seedlings per year are given to farmers free of charge. Farmers are taught that tree planting goes together with cash crop growing. Tobacco. Native tree species and fruit trees are supplied to the farming communities. 

4. PROVIDING CLEAN WATER SOURCES TO COMMUNITIES

Shallow wells are constructed for communities – providing clean water access to over 15,000 people in the Arua region. This also ensures that children don’t travel long distances to fetch water from rivers thereby undermining their education and their future. 

Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa and his companies remain fully committed to the CSR path they have practiced over the years, namely, giving a hand to local communities as they lift themselves from poverty. 

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CoronaVirus Uganda

Africans retreat into homes on coronavirus, but scared about food

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By Staff Writer

More than two-thirds of over 4,500 Africans reached by GeoPoll across 12 nations have reported they are self-quarantining to prevent the risks and spread of coronavirus.

Yet, as Africans retreat into their homes, they are worried about food and their economies to almost as great a degree as they are worried about the global pandemic.

In a survey administered remotely through GeoPoll’s mobile-based research platform, it was found that 80 per cent of respondents were frightened about coronavirus spreading in their countries, but 71 per cent said they were also ‘very concerned’ about its economic impact.

The degree of health fears in each nation appeared related to the level of quarantine now in place. For while 63 per cent of Africans believe they are at risk of contracting the virus, Rwandans judge themselves to be at the lowest risk, at 37 per cent, in a situation where 90 per cent have self-quarantined.

Conversely, in countries such as Mozambique and Zambia, which report lower rates of self-quarantining, citizens feel far more vulnerable, with over 80 per cent in each of these countries believing they and their families are at risk.

Such fears across nations with limited ICU capacity and often scant supplies of oxygen has wrought other changes of behavior, with 54 per cent of respondents increasing hygiene and hand washing, and 50 per cent avoiding public places.

There are also rising concerns over food supplies. Most of the Africans polled reported that they were shopping for food less often, while just 20 per cent reported that all food markets around them are currently operational. Additionally, more than 85 per cent of respondents in the DRC, Rwanda and Kenya have worried in the last seven days that they would not have enough to eat.

“A health crisis such as coronavirus hitting vulnerable populations can have devastating effects on development, food supplies and resources. Reliable data is needed to accurately track on-the-ground situations, and using our remote mobile methodologies GeoPoll was able to gather valuable information quickly and safely,” said Nicholas Becker, GeoPoll CEO.

“Some governments in Africa have been proactive about lockdowns in order to prevent the virus from quickly spreading through densely populated areas, but coronavirus is already present in many African nations, and this study shows there is a fear that the worst is yet to come.”

There is a growing concern that many nations in Africa are poorly prepared for a pandemic as easily transmissible as COVID-19. This has triggered widely different approaches and very different levels of public support. In Rwanda, 81 per cent of respondents believe their government has done enough to stop the spread of the virus, as do 60 per cent in Uganda, but in Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya, less than a third are confident enough has been done.

To download GeoPoll’s full report and view an interactive dashboard of results, please visit this page: GeoPoll Report: The Impact of COVID-19 Across Africa.

ENDS

About GeoPoll

GeoPoll is a leader in providing fast, high quality research from areas that are difficult to access using traditional methods. Using mobile-based, remote methodologies including SMS, voice calls, and online modes, GeoPoll facilitates projects that aid in disaster response, assess food security, demonstrate demand for new projects, and more around the world.

GeoPoll combines a robust mobile surveying platform that has the ability to conduct research via multiple modes with a database of over 250 million respondents in emerging markets around the globe. Strengths lie in GeoPoll’s ability to target extremely specific populations, deploy surveys in multiple countries, and provide expert guidance on how to collect accurate, reliable data through the mobile phone. For more information visit www.GeoPoll.com.


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Sanofi and GSK to join forces in unprecedented vaccine collaboration to fight COVID-19

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By Staff Writer

Companies to combine innovative technologies to develop an adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine

Candidate vaccine expected to enter clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful, to be available in the second half of 2021


Sanofi and GSK today announce that they have signed a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to help address the ongoing pandemic.

Sanofi will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology. This technology has produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus, and the DNA sequence encoding this antigen has been combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi’s licensed recombinant influenza product in the US.

GSK will contribute its proven pandemic adjuvant technology. The use of an adjuvant can be of particular importance in a pandemic situation since it may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and therefore contributing to protect more people. 

“As the world faces this unprecedented global health crisis, it is clear that no one company can go it alone.says Paul Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. “That is why Sanofi is continuing to complement its expertise and resources with our peers, such as GSK, with the goal to create and supply sufficient quantities of vaccines that will help stop this virus.”

“This collaboration brings together two of the world’s largest vaccines companies.” says Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer, GSK. “By combining our scientific expertise, technologies and capabilities, we believe that we can help accelerate the global effort to develop a vaccine to protect as many people as possible from Covid-19.”

The combination of a protein-based antigen together with an adjuvant is well-established and used in a number of vaccines available today. An adjuvant is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response and has been shown to create a stronger and longer- lasting immunity against infections than the vaccine alone. It can also improve the likelihood of delivering an effective vaccine that can be manufactured at scale. 

The companies plan to initiate phase I clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful, subject to regulatory considerations, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021. 

As previously announced by Sanofi, development of the recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate is being supported through funding and a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The companies plan to discuss funding support with other governments and global institutions prioritising global access.

“Strategic alliances among vaccine industry leaders are essential to make a coronavirus vaccine available as soon as possible,” says BARDA Director, Rick A. Bright, Ph.D. “Development of the adjuvanted recombinant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate holds the potential to lower the vaccine dose to provide vaccine to a greater number of people to end this pandemic, and help the world become better prepared or even prevent future coronavirus outbreaks.”

The companies have set up a Joint Task Force, co-chaired by David Loew, Global Head of Vaccines, Sanofi and Roger Connor, President Vaccines, GSK. The taskforce will seek to mobilize resources from both companies to look for every opportunity to accelerate the development of the candidate vaccine.

Considering the extraordinary humanitarian and financial challenge of the pandemic, both companies believe that global access to COVID-19 vaccines is a priority and are committed to making any vaccine that is developed through the collaboration affordable to the public and through mechanisms that offer fair access for people in all countries.

These efforts mark a significant milestone in Sanofi’s and GSK’s ongoing contributions to help fight COVID-19. The companies have entered into a Material Transfer Agreement to enable them to start working together immediately.  Definitive terms of the collaboration are expected to be finalised over the next few weeks.

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Meet Uganda’s New Generation of Youtube Vloggers

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By Ian Ortega

As the world becomes more visual, as Facebook gets optimized for videos, there’s also a growing community of Ugandan Youtube Vloggers. This time round, sharing stories not with their words, but with video. Today, we follow up on some of the channels in no order.

1.       I’m Shyla (1.86K Subscribers, 56 Videos)

This lifestyle blogger is one of the most active in the game. She describes her channel as charming, witty and friendly. She’s taken us on Easter celebrations during lockdown. It’s content everyone will relate to, the highs and lows of living alone, and her other life routines such as shopping. She’s been vlogging since 2018.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOHqE84qjiPmidzZeCtBygw/featured

2.       Amito Mitra (8.76K Subscribers, 111 Videos)

Amito has put in the time, she’s taken the vlogging serious. Another lifestyle blogger describing her channel as full of life, and ready to explore Uganda and the world. Her two biggest addictions; Café Javas and Nigeria. Her videos have registered a combined 627K views, impressive. She’s walked us through the Nyege Nyege scenes and various Kampala concerts.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMhf9xsHJ9Mcz-y8gF3k6Gw/featured

3.       B and T Life Lane (6.79K Subscribers, 209 Videos)

This duo promises to take us through their love for fashion and other inspirations. But I must say, it’s their new angle to sharing real estate in Uganda that’s getting many hooked. If you’re looking for cool furnished apartment deals, this duo is a must to keep on your tabs. If you want to hang out with friends and throw a cool party over a weekend, why not book out one of these apartments going for as low as USD 35. The duo boasts of 526K views on their channel. Great job from Betty Benson and Christine Aguti.

Visit their channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDrNbyFUtHmn1bOp2lYjUbQ

4.       Denis Duke Uganda (41.9K Subscribers, 567 Videos)

For many, you’ve seen Denis Duke on your television screens, but did you know, he runs a super Vlog on Youtube. He takes you on a journey of entertainment, lugambo and politics or call it, general affairs. With 3.4 million views, he is evidence of compounded hard work over the years. And in a world of vlogging that’s dominated by ladies in Uganda, he’s proving to be the one holding fort for the men.

Visit his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI82EetZ1SRV-52es7tnTqg/videos

5.       Namuli (1.18K Subscribers, 214 Videos)

Another lifestyle blogger that should take your interest is Namuli. You want to travel Uganda, then travel it through her vlogs, watch her reviews, let her indulge you in some food and hair. You feel like it’s a visual conversation with her, stories of her fighting with a conductor, like all of us have… At 85K views, the sky is the limit for this girl whose totem is a monkey.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfCz9W_mecE_WbyHHDPKNmg/featured

6.       Sheila Basajja (1.44K Subscribers, 35 Videos)

You want to experience Kuala Lumpar or you want a feel of the Ugandan wedding. Sheila got you covered. You will enjoy her travel moments with her girls, perhaps to Bali or to Zanzibar. At 63K Views, an awesome fairing for a Ugandan vlogger.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPfCQdaN9GNlghwRVfmkWKQ/featured

7.       Itsmayabee (714 Subscribers, 119 Videos)

From lifestyle to fashion to beauty, she lets you experience everything in the life of a millennial mother. Wait a minute? Yes, you read it right, millennials are having kids. If you want some product recommendations, be it makeup or fashion, you must be at her youtube door. She stands at 26K views and growing.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnHb4M73VYyD9llCKmNuiLA/featured

8.       Nabz Arah (3.43k Subscribers, 144 Videos)  

Don’t be deceived, it’s none other than Aswirah Nabuuma. Her niche is travel and tour. She’s as authentic as they come, sharing experiences of having to shift to a cheaper area, to adjust to life. If you want that and more of these real conversations, Arah is the deal. At 129K Views, there’s pretty good believability.

Visit her channel here : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTKZT31HLJuR7Qn0–Tut7Q

9.       Mr. Musinguzi (58.6K Subscribers, 50 Videos)

It’s an experiential Vlog covering Musinguzi’s life moments in Uganda. A few minutes on his channel and you feel like you want to go out and see more of Uganda. He stands at a combined 85K for his content.

Visit his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC21CacZiFEvmdzkD79-EnQg/featured

So I have broken the rules and stuck to 9 Vloggers. For those wondering what criteria I used to arrive at this names, it’s activity. Recency was a key factor, when the last video was created and the time in between the videos. I also looked at volume of content and somehow at subscribers (but this didn’t matter much). It’s about the time that people put in to create videos. But in case I had to do 10 Vloggers, then I must give Jessica Zziwa’s channel a mention. 

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