Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Indigenous Minority Groups

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A woman with a physical disability walking through her garden. Courtesy of the Independent Newspaper

Women and girls with disabilities in Kasese district experienced multiple challenges that did not only stem from COVID-19 imposed lockdown but also effects of the floods experienced in 2020.

The Kasese Management Committee reported that over 5,525 people were affected by floods amidst the COVID-19 pandemic doubly affecting the residents of Kasese district. The double need for relief items already constrained by limited funds drove the Kasese District Local Government and a few Civil Society Organizations to get together and avail the affected population with relief support such as food.

However, majority of women and girls with disabilities in the district were threatened with food insecurity, hunger, and income insecurity for the relief support only covered 1000 families in the entire district. On the other hand, self-quarantine and isolation from support staff and families amplified the pre-existing social stigma against women and girls with disabilities and in turn multiplied their loneliness and depression.

Women and girls with disabilities were incapable of meeting with their peers for psycho-social support and sharing of words of encouragement with each other. This left them traumatized and psychologically tortured thanks to the multitude of socio-economic challenges they experienced due to the floods and the pandemic.

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