safeA rapid response for families who have no access to safe drinking water and have also lost their homes and possessions.
& Found in Uganda
|On rare occasions circumstances change
and boxes destined to help people become lost in the
often chaotic situations into which they are sent.
Such was the case of the 100 boxes sent to aid victims
of landslides on the slopes of Mt Elgon in Eastern
Uganda in August 2019.
Aid was sent from our depot on the 19th of August 2019 and arrived 6 days later in Entebbe on the 25th August. They had been requested by Assistant Governor and member of the Rotary Club of Soroti who had obtained customs clearance and permission for the consignment to be temporarily stored in the Uganda Red Cross Society’s warehouse in Kampala.
Baduda is some 300 km from Kampala and further storms led to floods and the destruction of sections of the road preventing onward transportation for several weeks.
Unfortunately, before the boxes could be distributed by members of the Rotary Club of Soroti and the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) they vanished within the system and no one could tell us where they were stored.
As the weeks went by we heard that our Rotary contact in Uganda, who was to organise the distribution had become seriously ill. This led to several spells in hospital and later we received the sad news that he had passed away. Former Director of Operations, Hugo Pike then made further enquiries through the local Rotary District Governor and Secretary General of the URCS which revealed that the missing boxes were still in secure storage at the URCS warehouse in Kampala.
Whilst we appreciated that our original contact had been unwell for much of this time, it was vital for the credibility of Rotary and our own Rotary charity that we fulfilled our obligations to provide aid to people in need and provide feedback to our donors. It was due to the tenacity of Hugo’s investigation that the boxes were finally located and he then set about finding a new partner who could collect our boxes from the Kampala warehouse and ensure they were delivered to those in need. Hugo came across a current news item on the disaster relief activity of Humanity
First Uganda and made contact through the Head of Humanity First UK – Dr Aziz Hafiz. Dr Aziz liaised with the head of the HF-Uganda team who confirmed that their team was engaged in distributing aid in the Baduda area where displaced families were now being rehoused but were in urgent need of clean water provision and the very essential items contained in our Water Survival Boxes.
So as you can imagine we were delighted to receive news this week that our consignment of aid sent to Uganda at the request of the late Rotarian Dr Joel Okalany had finally been distributed to families in need. The aid started its journey in August 2019 and took over 12 months to reach its intended recipients. In one way you can look at this story as a failure, on the other hand you can look at it as a story of tenacity, commitment, and the meeting of an obligation. For never despite the odds, did we give up on a shipment of aid sent with compassion by people across the other side of the world to people in need. The boxes were eventually distributed and gratefully received in October 2020
|We found out that they were stricken
by three landslides which affected three villages in
the area. Over 137 families were affected and ended up
seeking refuge. And out of the 137 families, it came
to our notice that more than 100 families were
strongly hit by the landslides but we managed to sort
out 98 families who were more affected than the
On the 14th we tried to reach out to the affected families but since the roads were so muddy and slippery we had to wait till 15th of October to deliver the aid.
|It was impossible for the team to
individually teach all the victims in their respective
homes due to bad weather and poor routes. So we
managed to mobilise the victims in one place through
the help of the local council chairman of the village
and having enlightened and educated them about the use
of the water filter and other
essential Items, the survival boxes were handed over
individually.The beneficiaries were extremely happy.
Sending additional help is being considered.
The beginning of the end
When aid boxes land in a stricken country, the journey is not over, but as you will see by watching this video, only beginning. Enjoy
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