Red Cross receives 1250 bicycles to support  its community outreach activities

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The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has received a total of 1250 Buffalo bicycles from World Bicycle Relief to support  the humanitarian organisation's community  outreach activities.

The Buffalo bicycles cost shs780,000 each to make it over shs900million in total for all the bicycles.

Speaking during the handover ceremony at their headquarters in Rubaga, URCS Secretary General Robert Kwesigasaid the bicycles will be of great use for volunteers and some of the stuff while moving in the field.

“This has come in at a time when we are trying to ensure the volunteers and staff who do a tough job and make us who we are sorted in terms of easy mobility. Some of these people can in a day walk 10 kilometres with a backpack on the bag in difficult terrain where even getting water is not easy,”Kwesiga said.

He said with the bicycles donated by World Bicycle Relief, the journeys will now be shortened and outreach activities made easier.

“A volunteer who has been walking 10 kilometres will see a difference with the bicycle to facilitate the job to be done faster and easier.”

Kwesiga warned that the bicycles should be used for the right cause to ensure maximum purpose out of them, noting that they will be given to volunteers and staff in the field, mostly in rural areas.

He said they will be branded for everyone to clearly see them and that they will not be used for any other work apart from Red Cross’.

“They will be distributed according to needs. The branches with more active volunteers doing field work will get more bicycles. “

Sean Granville - Ross, the Senior Global Director of Programs for Buffalo bicycles described them as specifically made for rural areas.

“These are the Land Cruisers of the bicycle world and we are very confident that when you think about durability, quality and ability to keep on the road, Buffalo bicycles are the ones to look out for. This bicycle has been designed to allow people challenged by distance to overcome it,” Sean Granville said.

“With this bicycle, the burden of the 10 kilometres that volunteers walk will no longer be there. The bicycle is designed to carry 100kgs and we hope they will contribute to mandate and mission of Red Cross by enabling them reach and help people in need quickly.”

He however noted that they will be training mechanics to work on the bicycles but also set up spare part shops to ensure available in locations where the volunteers are.

" This will create opportunities for the young people to train as mechanics and also work in the shops,"he said.

According to the Uganda Red Cross Society, the  1,250 Buffalo bicycles will be distributed through five regional hubs including Soroti, Lira, Gulu, West Nile and South West – Mbarara/ Nakivale.

Red Cross has over 500,000 volunteers across the country.

 

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