KAMPALA – It is all hands on deck in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The government’s call to observe measures such as frequent handwashing require people to have access not only to water, but also to soap. The reality, however, is that it is hard for some people to access these things, not least in the informal settlements of Kampala.
This is where Rotary has come in to lend a hand in line with the government’s call for joint efforts to defeat Covid-19. Hence on Sunday, May 10, 2020, not even the gathering rain clouds could deter members of the Rotary Club of Kisugu-Victoria View from providing an assortment of equipment to residents of Yoka Zone in Namuwongo, Kampala, to fight the pandemic.
The Rotarians handed over 32 cartons of bar soap, and 30 pedal-operated hand-washing stations with varied capacities of 50 and 100 litre-tanks. According to the Rotary club’s President Goretti Masadde, the items are part of a grant of Shs14 million for the zone. Yoka, with more than 800 households, is an informal settlement that is wedged between the Nakivubo Channel and a Uganda Railways line.
To be supplied later, in partnership with National Water and Sewerage Corporation, is a prepaid automated water dispenser tap and 51 tokens/keys to access water on the various such taps that already exist in the community. Each token will be loaded with Shs10,000, which will fetch a person 333 jerricans of 20 litres each. At Shs30 a jerrican, this is a heavily discounted rate because a similar amount of water goes for up to Shs200 in the area.
The early afternoon event was witnessed by Makindye Division officials — Mr Ibrahim Kagolola, the deputy resident city commissioner, and Mr John Bosco Bashinyora, the town clerk. Both men thanked the Rotarians of the Kisugu club for their generosity and encouraged other people of goodwill to reach out to the community, which falls within the division’s Bukasa Parish.
The donation of the materials was made possible largely by a grant from the Rotary District 9211 Covid-19 Emergency and Response Committee. District 9211 brings together Uganda and Tanzania.
Whereas the pedal-operated hand-washing stations will benefit Yoka and the neighbouring zones of Namuwongo A, Namuwongo B, Kanyogoga, and Tebaleka, the rest of the donations are restricted to Yoka.
The Rotary Club of Kisugu-Victoria View has been working in Yoka since 2016. It has conducted medical camps, provided clean water, WASH education, financial literacy classes, basic education and literacy, and community economic development.
This work is informed by Rotary International’s vision statement: “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”