Kasese, Western Uganda: Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) is implementing a disaster preparedness program aimed at strengthening capacities of District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs), District Task Forces (DTFs) and their local structures to establish well-functioning multi-hazard preparedness and response systems to ensure effective Early Warning and Early Action (EW/EA).
This is being done with Support from European Union Humanitarian Aid, through a consortium consisting of Netherlands Red Cross, Austria Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.
One of the key activities of the project is training DDMCs from Ntoroko, Kabarole, Bundibugyo and Kasese districts as well as Red Cross Surge team in Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
These districts are vulnerable to a number of disasters like floods and landslides, therefore as a way of promoting hygiene and access to clean and safe water, URCS conducted trainings on how to set up an emergency water treatment unit (kit 5).
While training the teams, Engineer Gracious Kyagaba the WASH Manager at Uganda Red Cross noted that, “The kit is designed for treatment and distribution of water for individuals during emergency situations, the Kit allows transport of treated water to several distribution points and allows promotion of hygiene.” This Kit is solarized, easy to set up and mobile just in case of a disaster.
The solarized water treatment unit (kit 5) is one of the measures put in place as a response to water and sanitation challenges during disasters and emergencies.
Koli Augustine the Environment Officer of Kasese District and a member of the District Disaster Management Committee thanked URCS for building capacity with district officials. “This initiative is good because if we as the district people get skills and knowledge, we can help the communities instantly and by the time Red Cross brings assistance we are already set,” Koli added
In addition, the project has also enhanced community engagement within villages that are affected by floods in Kasese.
A mapping exercise with the communities was done through community meetings on Participatory Scenario Planning basing on the March, April, May (MAM) seasonal outlook are being held in Kasese District in the sub-counties of Ibanda-Kyanya and Karusandara. These were held so as to prepare communities for the worst-case scenarios and to come up with actions that work to address the common disasters and hazards.
Solarised community radios were also installed with an aim of complementing on the existing early warning systems in the communities to support in the dissemination of early warning systems. On top of that, communities were also given Information, Education Materials emphasizing Early warnings.
More about the project.
Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) works in a consortium led by NRLC to implement ECHO HIP 2021 project, which will strengthen the capacities of District Disaster Management Committees, District Task Forces and their local structures to establish well-functioning multi-hazard preparedness and response systems to ensure effective Early Warning and Early Action (EW/EA).
The Action adopts a multi-hazard approach, including preparedness for refugee influxes, epidemics and natural hazards.
The support to the government and community structures will be implemented by URCS, in partnership with the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC), Austrian Red Cross (AutRC) and The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The Action targets districts that are exposed to multiple hazards. The Action is informed by lessons in other Disaster and Epidemic Preparedness and Response projects and aligns strongly with the work of other humanitarian actors.