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Emergency Response on COVID-19

With the outbreak of COVID-19, a global pandemic and institution of lockdowns, market communities in Uganda were categorized as essential workers who were required to sleep in markets. Though unprepared for life of living and sleeping in the market, it was welcomed by most market women as they endeavored to be at work to make money to feed their families while running their business and also adhering to the presidential directives.

The situation for most women was not desirable as the market women were facing challenges which include but are not limited to; Lack of access to safe drinking water, absence of hygiene and sanitary facilities, no bath shelters/showers making the susceptible to infections, low standards of living in the markets where they had to sleep on their stalls without beddings and exposure to bleeding mosquitoes which would eventually lead to spread of diseases like malaria.

It is with this background that IST initiated an emergency response program for markets countrywide where we supply emergency relief items in form of; handwashing facilities, sanitary towels, tents, mosquito repellants, drinking water, mattresses, blankets, handwashing soap, sanitizers, face masks and aprons. The items promote market women and men’s safety, protection and access to markets during and after the lockdowns.