By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Rubaga, Uganda: On Sunday, Uganda Red Cross Society received a huge donation from World Bicycle Relief to a total of 1,250 Buffalo Bicycles from World Bicycle Relief manufactured to adapt to African rural situation in a bid to relieve mobility of red Cross responders as they execute their duties.
It should be noted that Uganda Red Cross has up to 500,000 volunteers spread across 51 branch networks countrywide most of whom were fully catered for in this manner yet they are meant to reach communities in fulfillment of their mission.
This means therefore, this donation is a bridge to the existing need and complementing to their work.
Speaking at the reception event of the donation that took place at their headquarters in Rubaga, Mr. Robert Kwesiga – the Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society mentioned that for a long time, the society has been looking at how to fix the mobility question amongst their volunteers allover the country however was excited that the donation has become a magic bullet to that.
Mr. Robert Kwesiga – Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society.
“In a day, our volunteers can walk as long as 10 kilometers with their bag packs through tough terrains to do their work but this partnership is a big relief. I laud Buffalo Bicycles for out of them being business people, have decided to offer for humanitarian cause”. Mr. Kwesiga stated.
“They have donated to us 1,250 bicycles of which each totals to UGX780,000, a total sum of about One Billion. These will go to volunteers and staff in the field who are doing actual work and we are going to brand them then distribute them according to the need. This means that, branches with more volunteers will receive more and vice versa”. He added.
The 1,250 Buffalo bicycles will be distributed through five regional hubs including Soroti, Lira, Gulu, West Nile and South West – Mbarara/ Nakivale.
*Close to 80% of Uganda Red Cross Society are youths, very energetic to ride these bicycles and this will make it easy for them to reach communities.
Mr. Kwesiga committed to the donors that the bicycles will be used as agreed and will be dispatched in a week’s time.
In his remarks, Mr. Sean Granville Ross – Senior Global Director of Buffalo Bicycles ‘Nyati’ mentioned that the company is confident that the bicycles will contribute to the mandate of volunteers. He said, the bicycle can carry up to 100 kgs.
He stated that the bicycles are strong in terms of durability and quality and has been designed to cover the mobility gap for red cross frontliners to realize humanitarian cause.
“I know that you have 500,000 volunteers but I assure you that the 1,250 bicycles donation is just a start”. Said Mr. Sean.
He however informed that the ‘Buffalo Bicycle’ Company will go on to offer mechanics specifically for their bicycles after taking them through rigorous training.
Uganda Red Cross is the leading humanitarian organization in Uganda. The Red Cross was Incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1964 by the enactment of Red Cross Act; Cap 57 of the Laws of Uganda.