Written by Robert Kasumba, Communication Assistant officer at Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS)
With support from Austrian Development Cooperation through the Austrian Red Cross, the Uganda Red Cross Society is implementing the SkyBird Project which focuses on addressing Water Hygiene and Sanitation WASH needs of vulnerable communities in selected districts in Uganda.
In Bundibugyo District, the National Society distributed 830 Menstrual Hygiene Kits & 500 jerricans to DR-Congolese refugee women & girls of childbearing age as a way of improving hygiene and sanitation amongst the women. The kit has a towel, pant pegs, knickers, a bucket, a bar of soap, reusable & non-reusable sanitary pads (2), and a 20-liter Jerrican.
The distribution was carried out at Lamia Church of Uganda and Busunga Catholic Church clusters, Nyahuka Town council, Sindira, and Bundingoma sub-counties where refugees reside.
Uganda Red Cross Society works closely with the District while implementing its activities, during the distribution of the Menstrual Hygiene kits, the Chairperson District Disaster Management Committee Ssenyondo Francis noted that “Uganda Red Cross has been supportive to us as a District right from developing the District Contingency Mult-hazard plan and supporting refugees. They’ve improved hygiene in communities, put up latrines, & hand wash facilities. These menstrual hygiene kits have come in time when we needed them most, the numbers of persons of concern are many so these kits will help in improving the hygiene of the women.”
Sensitizing the communities through community engagement is vital during emergencies, volunteers in bundibugyo sensitized approximately 5000 persons of concern on menstrual hygiene and sanitation they were empowered with knowledge and skills in managing Menstrual hygiene through.
Manager Uganda Red Cross Society Bundibugyo branch Winfred Auma noted “The support from Austrian Red Cross and the Austrian Development Cooperation of menstrual kits to refugee women is part of Protection and promoting dignity among girls & women.” We have not only distributed menstrual hygiene kits, but we have also constructed latrines and emphasized hand washing by setting up hand washing facilities in communities.”
Kyomugisa Esther one of the beneficiaries noted that” I have been suffering when I go into my periods because I didn’t have enough materials to use, so these kits will help me manage my periods well, thanks to Red Cross.”
Uganda hosts over 1.4 million refugees and asylum seekers who require Humanitarian services across the country.