URCS Commemorates World Refugees Day in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.

Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:57 Written by
world Refugee Day

It was with excitement, dance and music, that humanitarian actors serving refugees congregated in Bidibidi Settlement in West Nile District of Yumbe, to commemorate the National Event for the World Refugees Day.

Adopted almost 19 years ago by the UN General Assembly, under resolution 55/76, the day serves to honor the courage and determination of those who have been forced to flee their homes as well as highlight the plight of refugees across the globe.

This joyful celebration was a befitting choice for the settlement currently having the biggest refugee population in Uganda. The national commemoration was graced by the Honorable First Deputy Premier of the Republic of Uganda, General Haji Moses Ali, who also serves as Member of Parliament for Adjumani West County in Adjumani. Adjumani district itself hosts over 220,000 refugees from South Sudan. With him were Mr Joël Boutroue the Country Representative for UNHCR, Commissioner Department of Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister and the leaders of Yumbe District Local Government.
The commemoration kicked off with a colorful march led by a brass band, and went from Alaba Primary School football Pitch to Swinga Trading Centre and back.

During the event, URCS like other agencies involved in Refugees response, hosted an exhibition stall. The public was given the opportunity to view the society’s different program activities like the Household Energy Project, WASH, Psychosocial Support, Community Based First Aid, Family Tracing and others.
One progam of great interest to the public and the guests, was the Household Energy Project display. It featured the JIKO Power; a device that uses energy from charcoal stoves or fire wood to provide light for a bulb and is also able to charge mobile devices. It also boasted the nowlight which is a device that generates power by manually pulling on a strap to produce instant light capable of lighting and charging devices. It also has the wonderbag; an innovative cooking bag that cooks almost all food types without using any other source of energy other than that in the saucepan or container in which food has been packed and placed into.

During the event, the Honorable RDC from Yumbe District handed over three pieces of the Wonderbag Cooking Bags to the Senior Livelihoods Associate UNHCR Mullo Innocent, Settlement Commandant Bidibidi and the Community Development Officer for Yumbe Town Council as ambassadors for environment protection.

Interview With Miss Sarah

Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:55 Written by
Interview with Sara

QUESTIONAIRE TO MISS SARA (Blood donation recruitment manager)

Introduction by Sarah(Name,position, how long has she held this position) ?

My name is Sarah Mutegombwa and I am Program Manager for Blood Donor Recruitment in Uganda Red Cross Society. I have been working in this filed for over a decade.

Why is it important to donate blood ?

Blood saves lives. Blood can only be donated and cannot be manufactured. Blood is mostly used in emergencies where there is inadequate time for any other alternatives.

How often can a person donate blood ?

Male donors can donate blood every three months while female donors would be every four months.
Is it recommendable for everyone to donate blood?

Blood can be donated by healthy individuals that have adequate blood volumes and weigh 45kgs and above. They should be between the ages of 17 to 50 for female donors and 17 to 60 for Male donors.

What do the donors get in return of blood donation?

Blood donation is a voluntary and non-remunerated /free action. Nothing is given in exchange of the donated blood. The most important benefit is to save a life, which would be lost in the absence of blood

What are some reasons people give for not donating blood?

People give different reasons for not donating blood. Some reasons are related to myths and misconceptions which we frequently address in the sensitization campaigns. Some of these misconceptions include; the fear for the fainting, pain, needles, how much blood is given, the sterility of the equipment and the professionalism of the workers. Some people are afraid that they will not be able to carry on with their daily routine after giving blood. Some also say that they have never been asked to donate

What strategies have you put in place so to improve on blood donation ?

How have you implemented those strategies?

URCS Blood Donor Recruitment Strategy guides the donor recruitment campaigns.
The strategies take on the community-based approach of engaging Red Cross members and volunteers in their community as ambassadors, donors and recruiters for other blood donors.
URCS has over 364,000 Members and volunteers who are spearheading the campaign to increase blood donations by 20% annually. The strategy was started effective in July 2018, with positive results registered so far.

What challenges have you faced during blood donation campaigns ?

Blood donation is voluntary and we are still getting inadequate donors to meet the country needs for blood. For this country to have adequate blood, 2% of the population should be blood donors. Currently blood is given by 0.5% of the population of Uganda. We need more people to respond to blood donation campaigns.

How many liters of blood are you hoping to collect this year ?
Blood is measured in units and every donation is equivalent to one unit. The annual target is 300,000 units.

How many liters of blood have collected so far?

So far 230,000 units have been donated.

How many did you collect last year?

Last year we collected 240,000 units.

What are you doing different this year to collect more blood?
Our biggest challenge amongst the donor panel is that it is largely constituted by students. With the challenges related to busy school schedules, we are refocusing on the adult out of school donors, at places of work, markets, shopping malls and places of worship, where we hope to inculcate a culture of donation

What do u think causes shortage of blood in hospitals?

The shortages emanate from the supply. The supply is inadequate. We have reached 80% of the supply and the deficit of 20% is not addressed. All our current efforts are geared to closing that gap.
Note that the need is not static. It grows with population growth and improvement in health care service delivery and so we anticipate an increase in the demand.

Can a blood donor demand for blood at anytime?

Everyone is entitled to blood be it a donor or not. Its access is procedural driven by need without discrimination.

How many people die due to lack of blood annually?
Death is the last thing one would want to proudly speak about. The fact that the supplies are not adequate, there are definitely lives being lost.

Who are the recipients of the blood?

Blood in Uganda is majorly given to children under 5 years as a result of severe anemia caused by malaria and malnutrition. This covers about 50% of the blood donated. Women with pregnancy related complications take about 30%. Surgical and medical cases take 10% and accident victims use the remaining 10%.

Note the interview is a Print Version.
Conducted by Robert Kasumba and Namayanja Daisy (Communication Volunteers)
We request to take your picture to go with the inerview

Red Cross distributes relief to flash floods affected families in Bundibugyo.

Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:52 Written by
Diana Tumuhimbise Branch Manager Bundibugyo giving relief to one of the victims.

Excitement filled residents of Kirumya parish and surrounding villages of Bundinagwara 1, Bugando 11 Habendu ,Kirumya East and Central as they carried home relief nonfood items.

According to the URCS assessment (July 2019), 285 households with a population of 2834 people were affected in the recent flash floods. Uganda Red Cross positioned relief to support all affected families to help them cope.

Families lined up to carry home 3731 NFI kits that included blankets, soap, aluminum cups, sauce pans, plates, basins and Tarpaulins.

In Bundibugyo, Ntoroko and neighboring communities, a lot of infrastructure like roads have developed huge cracks which pose a huge risk to people.
The Red Cross has now embarked on efforts to sensitize the public about the dangers of disasters and how these can be mitigated.

Diana Tumuhimbise branch Manager Uganda Red Cross Society Bundibugyo Branch noted that as soon as this disaster hit the district, we patterned with the district officials and carried out an assessment on ground level, she added that "Uganda Red Cross Society ( URCS) together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came up to support the affected victims , the affected people were given psychosocial support by ensuring health is maintained so as to avoid other epidemics like cholera that might come up as a result of the disaster".
In addition, the woman Member of Parliament Hon. Bebona Babungi Josephine explained that the nature of the district is steep and when the rain pours Rivers like river Kirumya feels up and burst into the residents, she then thanked the Uganda Red Cross Society for always reacting quickly when a disaster has hit the area.

Bebona also thanked the Office of the Prime Minister for distributing food to the affected people. On a similar note, she argued residents to stay calm in this kind of situation as the government is working to see that all the affected people are helped.

According to the Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development report of May 2019, "The State shall institute effective machinery for dealing with any disaster arising out of natural calamities or any situation resulting in the general displacement of people or serious disruption of their normal life. This, therefore, brings hopes to the people who are affected by natural disasters all the country.
As heavy rains continue in the country, people living around disaster-prone areas are called upon to take heed and seek safety in safer areas.


Thursday, 12 September 2019 13:50 Written by

On Tuesday, June 4th, 2019, heavy rain showers hit several areas of Uganda. In Bududa (eastern Uganda), the rains lasted through the night until the next morning. This heavy downpour left over 400 people affected in the sub-counties of Buwaali, Bukalasi, Bundesi, Bumayoka, and Bubiita.

Wamandu Paul, the Bunabumali Chairman says, “We heard an explosion and our neighbors making an alarm. Then we saw the water coming and we ran for our lives. My wife got hurt in the process and she is in the hospital.”

Other families were not so lucky. Nasoswe Fobia, a 45-year-old father of eight, lost his thirteen-year-old daughter, who was asleep when the landslide happened. Devastated he explains, “I took the young ones to safety and coming back for Mary to find the soil has already buried her alive along with everything we own.”
30-year-old Wamara John Richard who lost his 5-year-old daughter and 13-year-old sister says, “The water came out of nowhere. One minute they were dry, the next water and mud came rushing through the house. We were pushed down the hill along with the house that also moved. My wife and our eight-month-old daughter survived but the rest of the family perished”

On June 12th, 2019, Uganda Red Cross in partnership with MTN Uganda, mobilized relief support for the most affected families. Each family received a specialized household kit comprising of 2 cooking pots, 2 Jerry cans, 6 cups, 6 plates, 1 Knife, 1 Ladle, 3 blankets, 3 bars of laundry soap, 1 tarpaulin, 3 Mosquito Nets (LLITN). This basic relief was to enable families to cope as the Government efforts of relocation take shape.
Mr. Kyomukama, representing the CEO of MTN Uganda says, “We stand with the communities and support them in these trying times. These communities are the ones that have been there to support our network for the last 20 years.”

Godfrey Watenga, the Member of Parliament of Lutseshe praised the Uganda Red Cross Society for their timely response. He says, “I am grateful for the support given to my people in the emergency situation with NFI that helped them start over. We hope other companies will come through to support my people because many are affected by this disaster.”

Justine Khainza, the Woman Member of Parliament of Bududa district, appreciated the Uganda Red Cross Society for sensitizing the people of Bududa about the signs of the heavy rains saying, “This initiative has helped save more lives compared to the past because now people in our communities can tell when these landslides are about to occur.”
Uganda Red Cross Society teams continue to offer psychosocial support services to those affected. Community engagement through climate change messages also continue, as the Uganda Metrological Centre has projected rains to continue through the month of July.


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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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