Restore lives of 300 households in Kasese Uganda

by Joy for Children-Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda
Restore lives of  300 households in Kasese Uganda

The fate of persons living around the mountainous regions in western Uganda seems not to end.

Since late April 2022, Heavy rainfall has caused flooding, mudslides and landslides in Kasese District, Western Region of Uganda.

The heavy rainfall caused flooding, landslides and mudslides in the Western Region of Uganda from 27 April 2022.

Homes, livelihoods, crops and roads have all suffered damage. At least 3 people were rescued from raging flood waters of the Nyamwamba River. Police have warned locals not to cross the river until water levels decrease.

According to reports from the Red Cross, flooding struck parts of the western district and affected the internally displaced persons in the camps destroying their temporary shelters. More than 3,200 displaced and around 650 homes destroyed. No fatalities were reported by the Red Cross.

The Red Cross said 225 people were affected by floods in Busongora in Kasese district,, where 3 homes were destroyed and 35 damaged with at least 10 households displaced.

On 29 April mudslides and landslides affected 184 people in Kitholhu, Bukonzo, Kasese with 13 displaced, 3 houses destroyed and 2 damaged.

On 29 April mudslides and landslides affected 184 people in Kitholhu, Bukonzo, Kasese with 13 displaced, 3 houses destroyed and 2 damaged.

Landslides and mudslides struck after heavy rain on 30 April in Bufumbira, Kisoro District, destroying 2 houses and affecting 66 people.

Thousands of households are in dire need of shelter, food, clothing and medical supplies.We appreciate the wonderful support from our dear donors over time and we are requesting for more support to the displaced persons. Our campaign is still running.

$20 will buy a blanket for one child, $50 can provide food for a family of 5 for 1 month, $20 will buy 5 blankets for a family of 5.

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In Uganda, Schools were closed for almost two years in response to curb to the spread of covid-19.Many learners have been stuck at home without access to online learning and study materials.

On the 10th of January, a sigh of relief engulfed parents, teachers and learners as schools officially reopened nationwide but this wasn’t the case for internally displaced persons who were affected by floods in May 2020.

Muhokya Internally displaced peoples camp is currently the biggest camp in Kasese District, western Uganda with 300 Households residing in the camp, who are predominantly women and Children. The flash floods destroyed schools, hospitals, gardens and homes.

“My Children have not gone to school because we do not even have books and pens for them, I thank the well wishers for providing books to the children in Kindergarten but the older children do not have what to use”, Parent.

Households lost their livelihoods and it is very challenging to support their families, Children are seen loitering in the camp with hardly any shoes and clothing to wear and no hope of returning to school.

“Children are going back to school but the situation in this camp is not good at all, no books, pens and other scholastic materials”, she adds

The camp chairperson, Rehema says only the children in lower primary have returned to school, others have not yet joined school because they do not have scholastic materials and even the distance from the camp to the government aided schools is very long.

“Those in higher classes are not sure of what is going to happen next “she says.

Our campaign is still running and we request you our dear Donor to support our cause and support 500 children return to school.

$10 can buy a dozen of exercise books,$15 can buy a school bag,$5 can buy a dozen of pencils and $20 can buy a school uniform.

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A visit to one of the internally displaced camps in Kasese district, one is welcomed by smiling faces from innocent Children and teenagers mostly below 18 years of age. Hundreds of households were displaced by Floods after River Nyamwamba burst its banks in May 2020.

According to the internally Displaced Monitoring Center (IDMC, 2019) around 16.1 million people in the world were displaced in 2018 because of weather-related events; among them 33 %( 5.4 million) were displaced by floods.

According to the office of the prime minister, disaster department, 65,250 people have been displaced by floods. (Uganda –Flood Impact Mobility Assessment, 4th-28th may 2020)

Hundreds of households have sought refuge in camps and nearby schools. The displacements do not spare the young as they automatically move with their parents or Guardians in times of disasters. They are forced to flee their homes due to the damage caused by the disasters but have not crossed international borders.

On a visit by Joy for Children-Uganda to Kanyangeya internally displaced peoples camp in Kasese district, western Uganda parents spoke of walking for hours to search for fire wood, food and water.

“Every morning i walk from here to Rukoki and Kahonda in search for work so that I can feed my Family, on my way I have search for firewood to use the next day. I cannot sit at home because we have no food”, said the mother of four.

She said she eagerly waits when the Government will relocate them to a safer place with decent accommodation.

One of her daughters, Olivia (not real name) was knocked down by a speeding motor cycle as she was crossing the road to go and look for food.

“I was at home and my siblings started crying because of hunger, so I had to run to look for food but unfortunately as I was entering the road, a motor cycle knocked me and I started bleeding”, says Olivia as she points to the injury on her forehead.

The mud sucks at the little Children’s feet as they play about in the camp and water enters the make shift structures whenever it rains. The head of the household Ndaizimana says the floods destroyed their house, crops and life has been tough ever since they relocated to the camp.

The Children only feed on one a meal day and the adults often sleep hungry or they collect wild fruits for food. She says she has limited knowledge about covid-19 because they have no access to television or radio in the camp.

“We only heard about corona virus when we were still school and we live our normal life in the camp without any precautions of avoiding the virus,” she adds.

On 5th September, Joy for Children-Uganda visited Kanyangeya camp for the displaced persons and delivered food items such as maize flour, beans, sugar and salt. We also had sessions with the teenage girls and distributed sanitary towels to the girls who are currently out of school due to closure of schools and floods. Kasese has been among the districts with high cases of teenage pregnancies in the country since March 2020(2300 cases) and this has been partly attributed to lack of sanitary towels. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JErRdJdqS64

The challenges they express are majorly the lack of sanitary towels, lack of education materials, food and sexual and reproductive health services. Some of the young girls confessed to having slept with older men to get money for buying sanitary towels.

Diana (not real name) is a 16 year old girl; she carries her young sister on her back while she gazes down in shyness. When she starts to talk about how the floods destroyed their home and gardens, sadness in her eyes is evident.

“We were sleeping in the night and then we heard screams and in a very short time, water had soaked our house, we were stuck, water was everywhere. “She says.

“My younger siblings begun to cry because no one had ever seen something like that. We had to walk in the night looking for safe place.” she adds.

It is so devastating to watch and listen to such sad stories of young children but it is our mandate to ensure that children no matter their age, race, gender and physical ability grow up in a safe environment and enjoy their rights as children.

We played and took photos with the children to make a few memories for our visit.

Our campaign is still running and we request for your kind donations to continue supporting the Children and adolescent girls so that they can get back to school in January.

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Over time, Uganda has experienced climate emergency and unfavorable environmental conditions in the Ruwenzori region with Kasese district being most hit by floods. Flash floods are caused by a combination of natural and man-made factors such as earth quakes, volcanic eruptions, deforestation, mining and ground water depletion. The damage caused by Flash floods are severe because of the speed and force with which the flooding occurs and the short time for evacuation.

7th May 2020 will forever remain on the minds of the people in Kasese district, areas around river Nyamwamba and mobuku were hit by disastrous floods that peaked on the morning of May 10th. Another disaster followed on May 21st in the areas of Mpondwe-Bwera where flash floods and landslides further destroyed bridges and infrastructure leading to the death of more than 10 people.

The flooding started with river Nyamwamba bursting its banks in the areas of Kasese Municipality sweeping away Kyanjuki-Katiri and Kilembe mines hospital. Simultaneous floods also occurred along rivers of Lhubiriha in Bukonzo west with impacts in the sub-counties of Kitholhu, Karambi and Mpondwe-Lhubihira town council. On the 26th of October, and new flash flooding episodes were reported in the district affecting area of Isule and Kyabihuka village in Maliba sub-county. 2 people were reported dead and 7,179 displaced, out of them 2,742 are living in the internally displaced camps (IDP) camps and 4,436 are staying with relatives.

According to the Internally Displaced Monitoring Center (IDMC, 2019) around 16.1 million people in the world were displaced in 2018 because of weather –related events; among them 33 %( 5.4 million) were displaced by floods.

According to the office of the prime Minister, disaster department, 65,250 people have been displaced by floods. (Uganda –Flood Impact Mobility Assessment, 4th-28th may 2020)

Following the outbreak of these landslides, hundreds of households were displaced and in December 2020, the office of the Prime Minister together with Kasese district local government temporarily relocated the displaced persons to 6 camps with Muhokya camp being the biggest with 289 households which is also the transit camp.

Household and Community –led initiatives.

Community participation is pivotal in emergency intervations.it is an important step towards enabling communities as active actors in that context and to help themselves. Communities are now part of the stakeholders who have a major role to play in the management of disasters such as Floods.

Creating awareness and warning about the potential of floods. Awareness and preparedness at the community and household levels have been intensified by the Local council leaders and Kasese district local government as the flash floods as those events are particularly rapid and intense and require an effective community response in a very short time. It is also important to listen to daily weather forecasts, inform the areas at risk of floods about the location of safe areas and the shortest routes.

Institutional Interventions.

Joy for Children-Uganda, a child rights advocacy organization visited Muhokya internally displaced peoples camp on May 7th which is currently the biggest camp in Kasese district hosting 289 households with an average of 5 persons per family. The harsh conditions in the camp do not necessitate the implementation of covid-19 prevention measures; the displaced persons housed in semi-permanent structures generally have limited access to safe clean water, proper sanitation, constant food supply and health care. Social distancing may be hard to enforce in the camp. The children in the camp do not attend school and those that were in school before the floods are no longer in school, it is not because they do not want to attend school but the situation derails their chances of attaining an education. There is sufficient and unutilized land in the camp that could be used for cultivation.

The Camp Chairperson Mr. Kule Julius said the major challenge in the camp is lack of food and Tarpaulins. “We are lacking Tarpaulins in this camp, when it rains the water flows in and enters the houses, we also have a problem of fire wood and even food. People have been reaching to my office for food but I have been telling them to wait since I have been trying to make an advocacy to NGOS for relief”. He says.

The organization delivered relief items to the most vulnerable households (widows, child headed household, physically handicapped and the elderly) who were identified by the camp chairperson.

River Nyamwamba yet gain burst its banks on the 3rd September 2021, spreading to areas in Kanyangeya community displacing about 200 persons who have abandoned their homes and are currently residing at Kanyangeya primary school making it the 7th camp. The river was re-channeled; it’s no longer following its original path as a result of copper mining at Kilembe mines. Active mining stopped in 1982 and this has caused negative impacts on the communities.

“Unfortunately the flooding water has started containing Hippopotamus; I don’t know why. There are 3 Hippos around here which puts peoples’ lives at jeopardy”. Singoma Joseph, Kasese district planner.

As a result of the current floods, Joy for Children in partnership with Birungi Foundation yet again reached out to about 200 people displaced at Kanyangeya primary school.

“All those houses have been abandoned. They were very many. The only solution is to desilt and routine maintenance of river Nyamwamba. Without doing that nothing will be solves because it was kilo meters away from where it has reached now”. Area chairperson; Kanyangeya.

The outreach was carried out on 5th September in commemoration of the international day of charity. We supported about 200 people with 400 kgs of maize flour,40 bars of soap,250 kgs of beans,100 packs of re-usable sanitary towels and clothes for both children and adults.

Observations.

  • There are no hand washing points at the camp, the women and children seem to lack knowledge about the covid-19 pandemic and the preventive measures. They face major barriers to implementing the prevention measures; limited space, frequent movements in and out of the camp to look for work. Good hygiene practices, including frequent and hand washing with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is one of the most important methods of preventing the spread and transmission of COVID-19.
  • There is no health facility within the IDP camp, nearby private owned healthcare facilities were identified in Kanyangeya community. Expectant mothers have to walk long distances to access the antenatal services at Kilembe hospital. IDPs would be at risk, particularly those with chronic illnesses, older persons, child headed households and persons with disabilities.
  • There is limited space at the school for all the persons that are displaced; only a few of the classes are open for shelter. The shelter provided does not have sufficient space to practice social distancing or isolation and there is no privacy between old people and the children, communal sharing of washrooms which is not appropriate particularly for women and girls when they are on their period.
  • There are no or limited options to ensure their food security. IDPs lack access to land that can be used for cultivation. Even in other camps such as Muhokya where land is available, in many cases they have to pay fees for its usage which further adds to their financial burden and threatens income-generating opportunities.
  • The camp at Kanyangeya primary school is mainly populated by children and women most of whom are single mothers. The children are between the ages of one and 7.

As the Government of Uganda continues to make progress towards desilting River Nyamwamba and resettling the displaced persons, it is imperative to rehabilitate women and men in the camps which will help integrate them back in their previous social structures.

  • There is immediate need for humanitarian action which provides IDPs with social services such as health, education, empowerment programs, relief (food and non-food items).Government, civil society, private sector and international agencies should channel their efforts towards this.
  • International agencies should engage researchers and civil society organizations to reach out to the displaced persons particularly children and women ,train them in income generating activities such as tailoring and train young girls on making of re-usable sanitary towels at a commercial level.
  • The government of Uganda should consider providing proper housing facilities to the displaced persons to allow physical social distancing, separate quarters for individual families should be provided.
  • Primarily, there should be a concrete plan to desilt River Nyamwamba and ensure continuous maintenance so as to prevent it from flooding, relocate the displaced persons or better yet allocate land for cultivation so as to improve on their household incomes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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River Nyamwamba in Kasese District has yet again burst its banks, this happened on the night of   the night of 13th August 2021.This possess a threat to the families that are in close proximity to the river. On May 2020, The Floods swept away part of Kilembe hospital which would serve more than 20,000 residents.

The displaced persons were relocated on Government land. The affected families were already leaving in abject poverty in temporary houses made of mud making it easy for them to be washed away by the strong rains and winds.

The Flash floods that happened in May 2020, displaced over 100,000 people, At least 1,200 people were left homeless and 18 dead, following this outbreak hundreds of people were displaced and in December 2020, the office of the Prime Minister and Kasese local government temporarily relocated 289 households on Muhokya Government Land.

The displaced persons are living in extremely unpleasant conditions, shortages in food and medical supplies, unsanitary conditions and make -shift house which makes it easier for water to enter whenever it rains.

With Funding from GlobalGiving, on 6th May 2020, Joy for Children-Uganda was able to support vulnerable families currently residing in the camp. We were able to deliver food aid (maize flour, beans, soap, cassava flour and cooking oil.)

In addition to the food aid, we are yet again planning another outreach on the 3rd to 5th to support 50 households in the camp; we plan to give out, beddings, soap, and cash, clothing and medical supplies. We call upon kind hearted people to donate and support the good cause.

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Joy for Children-Uganda

Location: Kampala, Uganda - Uganda
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Joy for Children Uganda
Kampala, Uganda
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