Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) on 17th October launched an appeal to the general public to raise 1.2 Billion shillings to support victims of the Bududa landslides and other neighboring districts that might be at risk. This is expected to benefit over 5000 people in the disaster prone districts of the Elgon region; Bududa, Namisindwa, Butalejja, and Manafwa. These battle with effects of climate change almost every year and there is urgent need to prepare for more disasters.
Uganda Red Cross with support from the Belgian Red Cross have been among the first to take relief aid to the families affected in the Thursday landslides in Suume Parish, Bukalasi Sub County-Bududa district. Following last week’s heavy down pours in the area, River Suume burst its banks forcing large volumes of water, and rolling boulders down the slopes. These destroyed and washed over 139 households and 43 lives have been lost.
At least about 2,000 people are screened daily at the different entry points bordering Uganda and the Democratic of Congo. This number doubles during market days as more people enter Uganda for business, or as more refugees enter Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Uganda.” Says Paul Okot Bitex – Uganda Red Cross Ebola Preparedness Response Coordinator.
The April 2018 floods and landslides that hit Teso region in Eastern Uganda left communities devastated and in ruins; no food, shelter, household property and other basic needs. The heavy downpours that lasted for months washed away people’s homes, crops and left almost an entire region starving and displaced. About five people died in this catastrophe and thousands got displaced while fleeing to safety.
We are changing our responses from intervening when a disaster has happened to supporting communities before a disaster strikes'
NEW APPROACH TO DISASTER INTERVENTIONS
Why should Government and its partners respond after a disaster has taken place yet it can intervene before the disaster and save lives as well as money? This is what has influenced Uganda Red Cross to change its approach to disaster interventions.
Sabina Menhya, 40, beams with a smile as she receives us in her home. She is a mother 10 children between 2 to 21 years of age. The family was even bigger before, but sadly, Sabina has lost two of her children to malaria. For a living Sabina and her husband Mathias Okiru, 44 grow beans, maize and sunflowers in a small garden in their home in a small village called Nyakwae, in North Eastern Uganda. They earn less than a dollar a day, since the harvest is seasonal.
With the current rainy season and the worsening slum conditions in and around Kampala district, the city didn’t wait long to face another cholera outbreak. Since February this year, most parts of the country have been struggling with cholera as a result of heavy rains. On Friday 4th May 2018, the Ministry of Health in Uganda declared another cholera outbreak in Kampala.
Uganda Red Cross West Nile Refugee Response team of hygiene promoters on the 26th March 2018 launched the sanitation week across the 36 villages of Imvepi refugee settlement. This was organised in collaboration with other partners that included the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR, OXFAM, Unicef Uganda, Danish Refugees Council (DRC), among others. The purpose of the Sanitation Week is to intensify and increase knowledge on proper Hygiene and Sanitation management in the refugee hosting communities for promotion of good health.
Thousands of Refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have continued to infiltrate the country despite the already ongoing influx, and the recent cholera outbreak in refugee settlements. Uganda Red Cross society has been on ground to respond to both, the growing numbers of refugees and the continued spread of cholera especially in Kyangwali and Kyaka II refugee settlements.
Effects of inter-communal violence between Lendu and Hema ethnic groups that broke out in Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and attacks by Mai-Mai militia in North Kivu started in December 2017, resulted into mass displacement and population movement of people from the DRC to Uganda.
As Uganda ranks amongst the top African Countries receiving refugees, humanitarian agencies have had to work harder each day to support the ever growing number of refugees and ensure their well-being. Today, Uganda is home to 1.3 Million refugees from South Sudan, majority being mothers and children.
In traditional Africa, a girl becomes a woman when she starts her menstruation periods. Soiling one’s dress during this period is seen as a taboo. Women and adolescent girls try their best to live a normal life, play and run their usual chores as though no change has happened around them. This is okay under normal circumstances, but not in an emergency setting like the case for refugees. They move abruptly, un-prepared and are forced by circumstances. It is rare that they can afford any sanitary wears and getting their menstrual periods becomes an additional burden.
A Red Cross Perspective with the Emergency Response Module (M40) & Mass Sanitation Model (MSM)
By Irene Nakasiita
On behalf of the China Red Cross Society, the Chinese Embassy in Uganda has today handed over items worth 202,300USDs (Approx. UGX 1 billion) to Uganda Red Cross Society. The items were donated by the China Red Cross Society and channeled to Uganda through the China Sinopharm International Corporation, a privately owned company that coordinated the transportation of the goods up to the final recipient (Uganda Red Cross Society). The donated items include:
Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in July 2016, more South Sudanese refugees have continued entering Uganda fleeing violence and atrocities against humanity. This population movement has drastically increased number of south Sudanese refugees in Uganda. On a daily basis, Uganda receives about 2000 refugees from S. Sudan. Today, Uganda hosts 269,936 refugees from S. Sudan
Uganda Red Cross Volunteers on June 26th braved the night, cold and bloody boarder of Nimule – Connecting Uganda to South Sudan in rescue of refugees fleeing uncertainty when fighting broke out in Wau, South Sudan forcing thousands of people to flee to Uganda. The situation has since been tense and alarming. Hundreds of lives have been claimed in the fights and many more rescued because of the presence of Humanitarian support from key players like Uganda Red Cross.
This assessment report presents findings of the challenges faced by returnees who were affected by tribal conflicts and post elections in Bundibugyo district.
Uganda Red Cross on 14th November distributed 4950 preparedness items in flood-prone communities of Kapelebyong Sub County, and Amuria in a groundbreaking response, based on a scientific forecast of flooding in the region. The items have been procured with financial support from German Red Cross through a Disaster Preparedness Fund.
The Uganda Red Cross Society, with support from Netherlands Red Cross distributed scholastic materials to HIV orphans in six districts of Uganda (Kampala, Wakiso, Mpigi, Lira, Pader and Kitgum). These orphans have been part of the HIV/ OVC support project that has been running since 2010 when they were identified. The two national societies had supported 3000 Orphans & Vulnerable Children in many ways among which is keeping them is school.
The Uganda Red Cross Society with support from the Red Cross Society of China and The People’s Republic of China at large donated medical equipments to the local government of Manafwa district as part of a three year’s community Resilience project being implemented by URCS with funds from RCSC. Manafwa is one of the eastern Uganda districts that are affected with climate change and usually experience landslides.