Uganda Red Cross Society has installed a solar water treatment unit in Kasese as part of its efforts to strengthen disaster response and preparedness.
This is also part of a disaster preparedness program aimed at strengthening 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 program is implemented 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 district disaster management committees from Ntoroko, Kabarole ,Bundibugyo and Kasese districts as well as Red Cross Surge team in Emergency Water Sanitation
and Hygiene (WASH).
Speaking while training district teams on to set up the emergency water treatment units, Eng. 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,”Kyagaba said.
He said the solarized water treatment unit is one of the measures put in place as a response to water and sanitation challenges during disasters and emergencies.
The district environment officer for Kasese , Augustine Koli who is also a member of the district disaster management committee applauded Uganda Red Cross Society for helping build capacity of the 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 noted.
As part of the project, Uganda Red Cross Society 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.
As part of disaster preparedness efforts, Uganda Red Cross also installed solarised community radios were also installed with an aim of complementing on the existing early warning systems in the communities to support in dissemination of early warning systems.
On top of that communities were also given Information ,Education Materials emphasising early warnings.