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UN Resident Coordinator Visits Karamoja Amidst Increasing Cases of COVID-19 In The Region

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H.E Rosa Malango [right] and Ms Caroline Kembabazi while at Katikekile in Moroto district. PHOTO BY NOAH OMUYA
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, H.E. Rosa Malango, has started a four-day mission to Karamoja region amidst accumulating numbers of COVID-19 cases recorded in the region.

The purpose of the mission is to increase awareness on Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] and Critical UN programs during COVID19 in the region.

During the first day of the tour, H.E Malango visited the Moroto district Local Government Administration offices and brainstormed with the authorities about the ongoing UN supported activities and challenges faced by district during the pressing time of COVID-19.

Ms. Malango also disclosed during a meeting with the district technical team that part of her mission in Karamoja is to encourage youth to take part in the One Million SDG Solutions Innovation Challenge as part of the UN@75 and SDG Decade of Action.

The Youth Innovation challenge aims to identify youth with viable solutions so that they can be supported by private sector, development partners and the UN system.

Christine Akot, the Moroto district Vice Chairperson, disclosed that the LCV Chairperson is also among those who tested positive of COVID-19 and he is undergoing treatment and on stable condition.

Akot applauded the UN Resident Director for endeavoring to visit the sub region amidst the increasing cases of COVID-19.

“You’re coming to Moroto amidst this pandemic has given us hope as the people of Karamoja. The issues affecting the region are beyond just the pandemic and are not yet over,” said Ms Akot, who is currently acting in the position of the LCV Chairperson who is undergoing treatment.

So far, two people have succumbed to COVID-19 in Karamoja region and last week [Thursday 10th September, 2020], a total of 30 inmates from Moroto Prison tested positive of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health with support from the World Health Organization [WHO] and United Nations Childrens Education Fund [UNICEF], have started the mass testing of 800 inmates and staff at Moroto Government Prison.

Keneth Kabali, the Consultant for Disease Control with WHO in Karamoja, disclosed that the mass testing follows the increase in community transmission infections in the sub region.

Today [Monday 14th September, 2020] the UN delegation headed by H.E Malango, Office of the President represented by Ms Caroline Kembabazi Kamabale [Assistant Private Secretary of the President], the Youth Coalition Uganda represented by Mercy Melody Kayodi and Solomon Odongo, the Media Challenge Initiative represented by Kabazira Christine and Noah Omuya, visited a number of UN Women supported Initiative in Katikekile- Moroto.

The group composed of 15 YWGs and 03 males living with HIV Aids received an enterprise development grant of 5,000,000Ugx to major in Sweater weaving, Crafts making, Liquid soap processing and tailoring, and they have had mentorship support from UWEP/YLP under Ministry of Gender.

So far, 80% of the members have initiated their individual enterprises from the dividends of the group enterprise.

Young mothers engaged in knitting and crafts making in Katikekile. PHOTO BY NOAH OMUYA

Sharon Adongo, a youth who ran away from a forced marriage and now part of the beneficiaries of project, said that she has now been empowered with tailoring and crafts making skills and she earns money.

According to Adongo, she does not regret running away from a forced marriage and currently, she provides for her siblings and parents too.

“My parents had looked for me a man to marry and I ran away from home because I was still very young. I came to the Mission where I met Sister Winnie who guided and canceled me and later introduced me to the program.

On an interview with Sister Winnie Tali, the coordinator for Katikekile Youth group, she confirmed that the project has played a great role in empowerment of both the youths and adults in Karamoja.

Nause Anna, during an interview. PHOTO BY NOAH OMUYA

Nause Anna, a mother of four children who was trained on tailoring skills from the project said that she can now provide for her family needs and when schools are open, she is able to pay the school fees.

“I joined here two years ago and I did not have any knowledge concerning tailoring. But today, the knowledge I got from here has saved my family from poverty and domestic violence,” said Nause.

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Noah Omuya

Noah Omuya is the founder and CEO of Aica Communications LTD, a Company that currently runs an online news publication (www.aica.co.ug) with a plan of beginning to print Magazines and a newspaper in Ateso language in 2020. He is a Media challenge Fellow- class of 2019 and he has specialized training in writing, strategic and multimedia communication, mainstream and online journalism from the Media challenge fellowship and Kampala International University, where he pursued his Bachelors of Mass Communication. At the age of 18, Omuya was a train-on-job employee with Joshua 93.5 FM where he acquired a three years’ demonstrable experience in broadcast media, content development, public relations and, marketing and promotions strategies for private businesses, public entities and non-profit organizations, as well as engaging with traditional media. He scooped a Media Challenge award for the best feature essay writer of the year 2018. He was also first runner up for the refugee broadcast story of the year, and second runner up for radio feature story teller. The Media Challenge Award qualified him to be part of the Media Challenge Fellowship, where he has got intensive training in solutions journalism, political reporting, investigative reporting, youth participatory radio, multimedia journalism, and data journalism. At the fellowship, he has been trained by international celebrated journalists from BBC, CNN, Reuters, AFP, NBS Tv, UBC Tv, NTV, New Vision, Daily Monitor among other recognized institutes. He also has hands-on experience in research, in different private organizations in Uganda; experience in media relations with regular assignments in field reporting, marketing and public relations.

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