Floods Hit Bundibugyo

Monday, 09 December 2019 12:25 Written by

17 confirmed dead in the Bundibugyo floods, search and rescue continues.

Uganda Red Cross Volunteers on rescue mission in Bundibugyo

Background

On 6th 12. 2019 at about 3:00pm, heavy rains hit Bundibugyo and continued up to 12 noon of 7th 12 2019. Many places flooded as a result and affected a number of households. Many people displaced, houses destroyed and others lost life. Houses, latrines, crop gardens, places of worship, and Cocoa gardens were also sub merged, causing devastation and suffering among people.

A total of 12 sub counties were adversely affected and these included: Halugare, Busaru, Ngite, Bundibugyo town council, Bubukwanga, Kirumya, Ntotoro, Tokwe, Bukonzo, Busunga, Kisuuba, and Sindila

Current Situation

The situation is still life threatening, worrying as many people are traumatized, on tension and stranded. They are not able to predict what will happen next as rains continue to fall.A total number of 1,152 households composed of 6,768 individuals has been affected

Volunteers loading a body after recovery from the floods..

17 bodies have so far been retrieved by the Uganda Red Cross RCATs

A total of 800 persons are currently displaced living in churches and school buildings with others being hosted by relatives in the neighborhoods.

2 injured persons are admitted at Busaru Health Centre III.

The displaced persons whose houses have been destroyed and have nowhere to sleep have been sheltered at nearby schools and churches (Busuru Catholic Church, Kihoka Primary school, Izahura primary school and Kibale Catholic church).

Uganda Red Cross Response

A team of Red Cross Action Team was deployed in the different sub counties affected for a rapid assessment of needs of the people on ground.The Red Cross Action team has helped in the tracing of the missing community members and 17 dead bodies were retrieved The discovered dead bodies have been dressed and well prepared by the Red Cross action team and handed to the hospitals and some have been left with their families after Provided Body bags and blankets for covering the resumed dead bodies for easy transportation Liaised with the local and district leaders to do a joint assessment.

Transportation of dead body after being recovered from the field

URCS mobilized with the Government through the OPM to get some immediate support for the affected persons Provided psycho social support for the bereaved families and affected families and community members Evacuated the affected persons who were in critical conditions and took them to the hospital Provided health promotion and psychosocial support .

The Red Cross Volunteers were on ground and mobilized for sleeping materials from the community members and prepared porridge for the displaced people who were sheltered at Busaru Red Cross Community Volunteers together with the local police and UPDF have since continued to manage the search and rescue activities The search and rescue operation is still ongoing.

Key figures

17 deaths

1,152 households composed of 6,768 individuals are affected

A total of twelve (12) sub counties have been affected

Over 800 people are displaced

50 Red Cross Volunteers conducting emergency rescue services, and assessment

2 injured, and admitted in hospital, one with fractured limbs

Other threats / Risks

- Continued rainfall

- Likelihood of disease outbreaks like Pneumonia in children, cholera due to poor hygiene & sanitation, diarrheal diseases among others.

- More likely deaths due to all the above conditions.

Immediate needs

- Food

- Safe Shelter

- Clean water / Water purifiers

-Latrine facilities -Nonfood items (household items)

- Warm clothes and blankets

Map showing the affected area.

Quote:

“We are deeply saddened by the incident Bundibugyo. We identify with the families that lost their loved ones. Uganda Red Cross is always committed to supporting people affected by disasters and will do whatever we can to mobilise resources and support the affected families. After the assessment, we will be able to offer meaningful support to meet the critical needs of the people. I call upon other partners to join us in this effort of saving lives of people.” Says Robert Kwesiga – Secretary General – Uganda Red Cross Society.

Editor’s Notes

According to information from the Uganda Metrological authority, projected rains are still with us until the end of December. Climate change effects like flooding, destruction, lightening, are common during heavy rains. Communities are called upon to be on high alert.

For more Information:

  • Irene Nakasiita - Communications & Public Relations Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (0774382583/0755000695)
  • Bob Robert Akankwasa – Director – Disaster Management Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Contact: Facebook: Uganda Red Cross Society Twitter: @ugandaredcross Instagram: UgandaRedCross

Mapping Plays a vital Role in Disaster Response and Preparedness

Thursday, 28 November 2019 23:02 Written by
An instructor guides a volunteer during the training

On 15th November 2019, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), organized the open street map mapathon training. An open street map is part geographic information system that is used by many humanitarian agencies like Red Cross to create map data that, in case of a disaster, the data can be used to trace the affected communities.

Geographic information system GIS improves the allocation of resources for response. GIS technologies are much useful in modelling of disaster risks and human adaptations to hazards. Sar Amadi country manager Humanitarian Open Streetmap explains that "the point of this workshop is to connect dots between the volunteers who are supporting the work of URCS while managing disasters."

It should be remembered that earlier this year, Bududa district was hit by massive landslides that so many people lose their property and lives. On a similar note, recently, in October, Kasese district was also hit by landslides, so mapping helps to spot the affected areas which assist in disaster response and preparedness. Twaha Ayubu Kampala West branch manager noted that mapping is a great activity that not helps branch managers to mark disaster-prone areas but also helps volunteers practice humanitarian work."

An instructor guides a volunteer during the training

On a similar note, Doreen Asasira Vice-Chairperson Kampala West Branch noted the open street map training would help me teach other volunteers in my branch in helping us to mark those areas affected by floods. The street map workshop focused on the eastern and western regions of Uganda since it had got the most recent flooding. Over 60 volunteers from different URCS branches participated in the training David Luswata GIS consultant at URCS, and the chief organizer of the workshop urged volunteers to use the mapping skills attained so has to help in disaster management.

An instructor guides a volunteer during the training

URCS Keep a Girl in School Campaign Distributes Sanitary wear to Girls in Mayuge District

Thursday, 28 November 2019 22:59 Written by
KAGIS Mayuge story

To help the girl child stay in school, Uganda Red Cross Society, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, launched a Keep the Girl in School campaign (KAGIS) in March 2019. The Campaign’s target is to collect over 7,700,000,000UGX (seven billion and seven hundred million), fora years’ worth of sanitary pads for 9,3336 (nine thousand three hundred thirty-six) girls in Uganda by 2021. On Friday, 27th September 2019, the URCS and its team distributedsanitary pads to 1336 girls from five schools in Mayuge district.

The Ministry of Education and Sports selected the most vulnerable schools for this distribution andthese included; Bufulubi SS in Imanyiro Sub County, Bukabooli Seed S.S. in Bukabooli Sub-county, Bunya S.S. in Mayuge Town council, St. John SS Buwaya in Buwaya Sub-county, Wante Muslim in Baitambogwe Sub-county. In attendance were local district leaders, local Non-Government organizations, Journalists, and Representatives from Parliament and the Ministry of Education and Sports.

The heart of this campaign is to ensure that girls in rural schools get proper menstrual management health systems. This will reduce the dropout rate for girls in schools in rural areas. Mugabi Fred, the headmaster of Bunya Secondary School, praised the campaign saying, "this campaign will truly keep girls in school because most of the parents here cannot afford to buy these menstrual hygiene products, some girls get exploited by shameless men. Where they get pregnant or catch deadly diseases." Eng. Grace Kyagaba, the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) officer at Uganda Red Cross added, "The priority of this campaign is to reduce the dropout rate of girls in school and increase retention rate.

Our main target is for Mayuge is 9370 girls." He also noted that the girls also need changing rooms, toilets, and incinerators to avoid the spread of infections. Nangobi Esther, one of the beneficiaries, is grateful for the campaign saying, " I am so glad we now have access to pads. A friend of mine got a boyfriend who used to give for pads in exchange for sex and now she has HIV." Research indicates Mayuge District has the most number of girls who drop out of school due to menstrual hygiene problems. The District Officer in charge of guidance and counselling, Margaret Tibenda, explained that "only 28% of the girls who start primary one complete primary seven.

In case these girls learn to manage their menstrual cycle with school, the completion rate reaches up to 70.5% at senior four. Among the significant challenges that are leading to the high school dropouts in our schools of Mayuge is poverty, where parents cannot afford basic needs for their children, including sanitary pads, Tibenda added. Mrs. Cecil Lwanga, one of theGoodwill Ambassadors of the campaign, thanked the Ministry of Education for the confidence entrusted in Uganda Red Cross Society as an impartial and humanitarian arm to push and address the pride of the girl child regarding issues of menstrual hygiene.

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UNICEF and URCS continue to collaborate on sensitizing communities on Ebola.

Thursday, 28 November 2019 22:56 Written by

The Ebola ViralDisease continues to remain a threat to Uganda due to the increasing numbers of cases and death in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. With about 2,837 cases and over1898 deaths reported by13th August 2019, the epidemic has become one of the highest burdens within the neighboring country.

URCS-Volunteer-carries-out-screening-process

In August 2019, 1 case of Ebola was identified in Kasese at the border entry of Mpondwe. Tumwine Francis, the URCS focal person in Kasese branch explains that the victim was a child who came with her mother from the Democratic Republic of Congo through the Mpondweborder entry where URCS screening team identified them and immediately put them into the isolation unit. also added that, “our major work at the border is to recognize ill travelers, immediately isolate, notify and give pyscho-social support.

Therefore I thank my fellow volunteers for the quick response about that case”. On a similar note, KagwaMugaga from the Ministry of Health and coordinator of the Ebola Response Team in the Rwenzori region also thanked Uganda Red Cross Society team at the border for beingvigilant and taking quick and professional action with the confirmed case. Mugaga also promised a continued, smooth cooperation between the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Red Cross Society at the different points of entry.

Due to these cases, URCS, with funding from UNICEF, prioritized risk communication and social mobilization activities within the districts of Kasese , Bundibugyo,Kabarole, Rukungiri, Ntoroko, Bunyangabo, Kisoro and Kanungu to improve on the district competences to responsewhen an outbreak occurs. Uganda Red Cross Society continues to do the Point of Entry (POE) screening as a means to limit suspected cases from entering the country unnoticed.

Mandatory washing of hands at Mpondwe border point

Health promotion campaigns are also being done at the household level, promoting the awareness of the Ebola virus and symptoms of the disease.Personal hygiene is also being emphasized within the high-risk districts to galvanize efforts to increase awareness. “Social Mobilizations like drama groups that easily attract the communities to come together, have been put in place to help increase awareness and understanding of what the Ebola Viral disease (EVD) is about,” says Eric Ofwono, Operations Manager EVD Program URCS.

URCS team demonstrates safe and dignfied burial
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URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org

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