Written by Robert Kasumba, WASH officer at Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS)

Uganda Red Cross Society aims at breaking silence on Menstrual Hygiene and improving sanitation in Namutumba District.

Through the Skybird Programme, the Uganda Red Cross Society is implementing a Water Hygiene and Sanitation WASH Project aimed at improving sanitation and hygiene in the communities of Magada and Bulange Sub-counties in Namutumba District under the Iganga URCS branch. The program is supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation through the Austrian Red Cross.

The head of Austrian Development Cooperation Dr. Roswitha Kremser had a guided field visit to the Uganda Red Cross Austria-Funded Projects in Namutumba – Iganga.

    The visit was hosted by the Chairman of the Central Governing Board Dr. Khalid Kirunda, the Director of Health Dr. Josephine Okwera, and the Head of the Austrian Red Cross office in Uganda Ms. Angelika.

    During the field visit, Dr. Roswitha Kremser noted that “Since my arrival, 3 years Cooperation with Uganda Red Cross has multiplied, I have visited all implementation areas and am so happy with what I see. Now seeing that communities in Eastern Uganda are supported through the skybird program is great. The girl child also plays an important role in the communities, so such initiatives as the making of sanitary pads will help keep these girls in school. I am also happy to see that the latrines also cater to those with disabilities. So thanks to URCS for emphasizing supporting the rural communities“.

    The National Society equipped young girls and women with skills in making reusable sanitary pads and menstrual hygiene management components.

    Modo Peace – a student at Bugobi high school noted “Girls in Namutumba district face challenges whenever they undergo menstruation. Sanitary pads are expensive and unaffordable. We thank Red Cross for helping us to address this challenge. We can now make the Pads and also go to school with no shame!“.

    The Chairman Branch Governing Board Iganga, who also doubles as the Chairperson Central Governing Board at UCRS, Dr. Khalid Kirunda thanked the Austria Red Cross and Austria Development Cooperation for supporting the Iganga branch. “I have managed to visit and inspect farmer groups in Namutumba and I have seen them grow trees from the seeds which were provided by the skybird program. I urge the communities to utilize the resources given to them so that we can be able to sustain the program.Kirunda added.

    The town Clerk Namutumba District. Mr. Balimumiti Ali thanked Red Cross for thinking of Namutumba District.  “Menstrual periods is one of the causes of school dropouts in the District. So seeing our girls equipped with skills of making sanitary pads means that our girls will no longer drop out of school thanks to Red Cross ” Ali added.

    Making Chacoal brickates from waste.

    Communities in Namutumba District were taught how to put waste to use. Among them is Bulange Youth Alive group. They make brickates from waste which they sell and earn money so as to improve their standards of living.

    Construction of two VIP stance latrines in Nawansekese Primary School and Bugobi High School Namutumba District

    Through the skybird WASH program, Uganda Red Cross managed construct two latrines in the Bugobi high school and Nawansekese primary school as a way of improving the Sanitation and hygiene of the students and pupils.