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European Union Delegation visits Uganda Red Cross Society implemented projects in the Lake Kyoga region.

A team from the European Union led by the Technical Assistant Morten Peterson paid a visit to the Lake Kyoka region to monitor Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) projects implemented under the Pilot Programmatic Project (PPP). The team was in the company of Annik Smits, the Netherlands Red Cross delegate to Uganda together with officials from the URCS led by the PPP program Manager – Joel Kitutu.

With funding from European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), through a consortium comprising of the Netherlands Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), Uganda Red Cross Society implements the Pilot Programmatic Project (PPP) in Uganda. The project is also implemented in 25 countries worldwide; 12 of them in Africa with Uganda among.

During the visit, the team was briefed on the status, progress and challenges of the project activities implemented. This was complemented with a field trip to the various project areas of Nakasongola, Amolatar, Kapchrowa, Kween, Kaberamaido and Katakwi where the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) team was able to meet and speak with some beneficiaries of the project interventions.

In Nakasongola and Amolatar district, the team monitored the implementation of the Cash and voucher Assistance – (CVA) together with the anticipatory disaster risk management (DRM).

Kitutu said, “The project is aiming at strengthening local action in humanitarian and health crises by supporting the development and operationalization of multi-hazard district contingency plans, activation of the district disaster management committees and piloting Cash Voucher assitance in the lake Kyoga region.

In Kaberamaido district, the team monitored the strengthening of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity through contingency planning. The product is a multi-hazard district contingency plan (DCP) linked to the district development plan (DDP).

A meeting between URCS, EU representatives and the district leadership in Kaberamaido.
A meeting between URCS, EU representatives and the district leadership in Kaberamaido.

Kitutu emphasized that the DCP will be used as a guiding document for disaster preparedness and response. “It will also inform coordination of Humanitarian actors, advocacy and resource mobilization. The DCP will also support anticipatory action of Early Warning and Early Action (EWEA) to engage high risk communities before disasters happen. “

Through the ECHO-funded (what – something is missing here), the URCS-IOM collaboration in Katakwi district has trained Red Cross Action Team (RCATs) on how to collect and send disaster data for Katakwi, Amuria and Kapelebyong districts. This is in liaison with the District Disaster Management Committees. The data is aggregated by IOM which then produces the monthly Uganda disaster information sheet.

In addition, URCS together with Netherlands Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross and IFRC is strengthening the epidemics and pandemics preparedness in Kapchorwa and Kween districts through training and orientation of DDMC’s, community-based health teams and village task forces. The trained teams are working with the RCATS in disease surveillance and control.

URCS and European Union teams meeting village health teams in Kapchorwa District
URCS and European Union teams meeting village health teams in Kapchorwa District

Kapchorwa and Kween districts have high vulnerabilities to several disease outbreaks and rapid spread through community traditional practices of firewood collection, fruit gathering and animal hunting among others, which bring members of the community together. The trained community members are conducting hygiene, sanitation, health promotion and sensitization in their communities.

The team also paid a visit to Kayunga District where the Uganda Red Cross disaster risk management team was developing a district multi hazard contingency plan together with the DDMC’s intended to build the capacity of the district to respond to disasters through anticipatory disaster risk management pillar funded by ECHO.