URCS enhances preparedness for emergency and response to disasters in Uganda

Thursday, 24 August 2023 09:55
URCS volunteers cleaning one of the running water tap stands in Nyakabande holding center Kisoro District installed by URCS

Uganda Red Cross Society has embarked on strengthening community capacities for preparedness and emergency response to disasters in South Western Uganda over the past 2 years. The districts that benefited from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid funds were selected on the basis that they are at the border of Uganda and the DRC – Democratic Republic of Congo including Kanungu, Kasese, Ntoroko and Kisoro district.

The project, in collaboration with Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) under disaster management, targeted to support the activation of District Disaster Management Committees(DDMC) and Sub-County Disaster Management Committees(SDMC) whose role is to develop District Contingency Plans (DCP) for disaster. These plans provide guidelines for response and early actions towards identified hazards that are unique to each district.

OPM was very instrumental in training DDMC in development of the DCPs and approval of the plans. Once the DCPs were approved, districts successfully had the plans approved by the district and respective district councils, that led to the operationalization of the plans within the 4 respective districts.

The following major responses, which were activated by the thresholds and triggers set in the DCPs, were responded to by URCS and ECHO HIP 21 partners, in collaboration with OPM and DDMCs of respective districts:

• Landslides in Nyarusiza, Muramba sub-county and Bunagana Town council that occured on 24/01/22 where the DCP was activated by the triggers and thresholds set in the plan. URCS supported affected communities with over 200 NFI – Non Food Item kits. 224 households were also supported through the Cash Voucher Assistance

URCS volunteers supporting the distrbituion of Non-food items to landslide victims in Kisoro District on 28th /03/2023

• In March 2022, URCS responded to the population movement in Kisoro that was as a result of fighting that broke out between M23 rebels and DRC armed forces. A total of 16,487 people were reached with emergency WASH – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Nyakabande reception in Kisoro district through funding under the activation of the crisis modifier from EU ECHO Hip 21

• During the project implementation period, the aspect of anticipatory action was demonstrated as critical for districts to prepare for disasters. This preparedness was witnessed to play a crucial role in lessening the impact of disasters on the communities. In Kasese, where hydrometrologocial equipment was installed on river Nyamwamba, anticipatory action was evidenced to have played a critical role in the recent floods of May, 2023. The DDMCs were trained on how to monitor the water levels and interprete the information for early warnings. The river terrestrial gauges that indicated the rising levels of water were used as indicators by the DDMCs to communicate to communities through community radios to evacuate to earlier designated areas. Many families were able to save their property and food stocks in time before the floods occurred in the area.

The project also conducted capacity building of local governments in:

The T95 tank which was set up in Nyakabande holding center to enable refugees access clean and safe water

• Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion with the focus on population influx and rural settlement,

• Use of cash as a response mechanism for disasters,

• Planning, setting triggers and thresholds for anticipatory action for unique hazards

• Epidemic and community based surveillance

URCS techinicians setting up one of the community radios in Kasese District.

Preparedness strengthens the districts ability to cope with the ever changing environmental landscape and builds community’s resilience in the long run. The partnership Between EU ECHO and URCS is one of many that continuous to be relevant to communities and ensures effective and efficient approaches aimed at preparedness and response to emergency situations paramount in today’s struggle to find sustainable adaptation approaches to disasters.

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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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