URCS Extends Safe and Clean Water System to the People of Nebbi and Packwachi Districts

Saturday, 22 February 2020 10:44 Written by
Uganda Red Cross team engaging the Water User Committee before the
hand over of the Project Facilities.

On the 10th of January 2020, Uganda Red Cross Society with support from the Cartier Foundation through the Internal Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (lFRC) handed over Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities worth 1,787,100,000/= to the people of Nebbi and Packwachi districts. This was done to reduce incidences of disease outbreaks due to poor water, hygiene and sanitation practices. For long, disease such as cholera, diarrheal illnesses, malaria were rampant in these districts and claimed lives of people constantly.

The facilities that were handed over included latrines in the villages of Dhei, Boro and Panyamur, Piped water system from Namwaodho gravity flow scheme connecting to Mamba Village and bore holes in villages surrounding Abia community, in Nyaravu Sub County, West Nile. While handing over the project, Mr. Robert Kwesiga, the Uganda Red Cross Secretary General appreciated the Cartier Foundation for having extended a hand of support to Uganda Red Cross to be able to address the Health gaps in this area.

While giving his remarks, the Secretary General also encouraged the people of Nebbi and Packwach to own these resources and use them to their wellbeing.

A latrine Constructed by Uganda Red Cross Society at Boro village.
A similar stance was built at Dhei landing to improve hygiene and Sanitation.

“Nebbi is unique, it is one of those areas in West Nile region which are very dry. Although the Lake Albert region has water, the latrine coverage has been very poor and people used to practice open defecation. The water sources were always contaminated and Cholera has been rampant here. I thank the Cartier team and the IFRC for supporting our Health Interventions here. We are happy to contribute to the wellbeing of the people in this area.”

“Today, we handover this water project with hope that the people in this community, especially mothers and children will find life easier by having easier access to clean and safe water, free from diseases but also closer to their homes for their safety.” Kwesiga added.

Ms. Jameelaa, a representative from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said that the major objective of the project is to reduce on the out breaks of water bone diseases in the recognized hot spots. “For this as the Federation, we are thankful for the work of the National Society done by the WASH team, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Water and Sewerage Corporation. Thank you for making this project a success.”

While addressing residents at the hand over event, Mr. Robert Omitto, the Pakwach district Chairperson urged the people in his community to utilize the facilities Uganda Red Cross Society has put in place with a high sense of responsibility. “Let us be responsible and use the facilities well because it is one of the ways we shall overcome diseases like Cholera. Omitto added.

Uganda Red Cross team handing over a bore hole to the Water.
User Committee at Panyamur village.

Christine Omolot a resident of Bhilania Village in Nebbi district praised Uganda Red Cross Society for job well done. She explained that “I have spent 38 years here (Bhilania Village) and I had never seen clean water in our village. Diseases such as Cholera and bilharzia had become a problem. I thank Uganda Red Cross Society for helping us with clean water. May God bless you.”

Uganda Red Cross implemented and handed over this project to increase access to safe, clean and adequate safe water supply in the communities of Nebbi and Packwach in Albertine region through pipe water extension, construction and rehabilitation of broken water sources, Improving Sanitation and hygienic practices within the targeted communities through awareness sessions so that people can improve behavior for their good health. The project further targeted to improve community based surveillance and cholera management at community level through the early warning, early action mechanism, establishment of ORPs (Oral Rehydration Points) and improving the health care referral linkages with support from the trained pool of community based volunteers.

Hard ware handed over

  • URCS made an Extension of 6.0 kilometers Piped water system from the lake to Mamba Trading Centre, Alala centre and connection of 15 villages with a total of 150 households, three institutions (Padwot PS. Mamba S.S, Padwot Midiere Health Centre 111) serving a population of approximately 2700 people.
  • Hydrological site surveys, drilling, pump testing and pump installation of three boreholes located at Jafurunga, Abia – Nebbi district and Nyakiro South in Pakwach district and serving the population (1,705 persons) in Jafurunga Abia, and Nyakiro South.
  • Rehabilitation of 5 boreholes in the areas of Kucwiny P/S, Kucwiny HCIII, Alwala East, Nyakiro P/S and Kivuje PS.
  • Construction of three drainable latrines at Agwok P.S, Boro Health Centre 11 and Dei Landing Site.

Software

  • Increased knowledge on sanitation and hygiene, awareness creation and improved behavior of people living in communities around the lake.
  • Improved Community based surveillance systems at community level during outbreaks especially in Nebbi and Pakwach districts.

Uganda Red Cross Introduces Cash Transfer programming in Disaster Response

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 18:29 Written by
A Uganda Red Crss Official supporting a disabled beneficiary to access
Mobile Phone services and retrieve the Cash.

Uganda Red Cross Introduces Cash Transfer programming in Disaster Response, Pilot launched in Mbale, Namabasa Village, Eastern Uganda. With support from the German Red Cross, Uganda Red Cross on January 21st 2020 gave out 88 million shillings in Cash to over 245 families that were affected by floods in December 2019. The money was transferred to the beneficiaries using MTN Mobile and Airtel Money transfer services.

While presiding over the Cash transfer (CTP) launch, the Uganda Red Cross Secretary General Mr. Robert Kwesiga appreciated the German Red Cross and other partners who supported Uganda Red Cross during the wake of disasters that hit Uganda throughout 2019. He also appreciated the Germans for having enabled the Cash transfer because it allows people affected to make a choice of the basic requirements they need to go through the disasters or cope.

“We are thankful to all the partners who supported us especially when our relief stock budget was over stretched; German Red Cross being one of them. Today as we launch this pilot project of cash transfer, we want to ensure that every one affected receives their money and uses it for the intended purpose. The money is sent using mobile phone money transfer services. The Programme is meant to compliment the usual nonfood relief items that we provide during disaster response. We want people to make choices of what they want to access during or after a disaster.” Said Kwesiga.

Excitment as a Community member recieved money through her
mobile phone

“It also builds and maintains the dignity of people when they have purchasing power to meet an immediate need as opposed to making choices for them when we show up with pre-positioned emergency response kits which sometimes are not their immediate needs.” Kwesiga added.

In December 2019, areas around Mt. Elgon in Eastern Uganda suffered adverse flooding effects and landslides which caused destruction of public infrastructures, human settlements, lives lost as well as farmlands, causing huge losses to famers in terms of crop destruction and livestock deaths.

Close to 1218 households in the districts of Mbale and Butallejja were left homeless and majority were displaced. Food items such as Potatoes, cassava, beans, rice soya beans bananas, yams and maize were also destroyed hence exposing families to hunger.

In response, Uganda Red Cross provided relief nonfood items to the affected families, and other life line services. The Cash program has been introduced as a compliment to the already exiting response mechanisms. As thus, a rapid Assessment was conducted within affected areas to ensure cash feasibility, access to Markets (RAM) among other determining factors.

The findings indicated that the Cash Transfer Process (CTP) Initiative was more feasible in Mbale - Namabasa Sub-county because of the market functionality and availability of financial service providers.

Joy as one of the members showed off Cash that was wired to his Mobile Phone.
mobile phone

“This is why we are giving out the money to the people in the area where we are today. One might think and ask why Namabasa? The feasibility study positioned us to pilot the project here; but also, Namabasa has the highest number of people who were affected in Mbale district. Those without mobile phones will receive Cash in Envelopes. All families who are receiving money today were involved in the initial process and they are excited to receive money.” Said Joram Musinguzi, Program officer for the Cash Transfer Project.

A total of 1458 individuals in 245 received cash assistance; 04 households with 21 individuals received cash in envelops and these were the people with special cases, whose numbers were not registered but highly qualify for immediate help.

The cash transfer targeted to help families be able to meet immediate needs such as food, health, education among other critical services to enable them recover from the adverse climate change affected.

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

URCS Partners with the Buganda Fraternity to Raise More Units of Blood

Thursday, 28 November 2019 13:25 Written by
Catherine Kusasira donates blood.

URCS Partners with the Buganda Fraternity to raise more Units of Blood On the 10th – 11th September Uganda Red Cross Society joined hands with Buganda fraternity to collect over 2000 units of Blood. The blood drive was held at Bulange gardens in Mengo where a number of people supported the cause.

The two day drive was officiated by Prince Cryspin Jjunju Kiwewa together with the 1st Deputy Katikkiro and Minister in charge of Technology, Prof Twaha Kaawaase in Mengo. Prince Jjunju urged people to always donate blood in order to save the lives of fellow Ugandans who are sick.

Jjunju also noted that it is always good to have organizations like Uganda Red Cross coming up to help in saving lives and thanked the URCS team that was led by Sara Mutegombwa the blood donation manager at URCS. By the end of the 2 days drive 995 units of blood were collected

Prof. Twaha Kaawaase donates blood as Sara Mutegombwa; URCS Blood
Donation Manager guides him.
Prince Jjunju visits the URCS tent after donating blood.
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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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