By Deo Wasswa
The Coca-Cola Foundation has handed over a substantial financial donation to the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) as a contribution towards Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities that will be implemented in high traffic areas and other activities relating to corona virus pandemic.
The one hundred eighty six million shillings (Ush186,000,000) donation will go towards promotion of mandatory hand washing and support Risk communication for COVID-19 with URCS as the implementing partner.
Speaking at the handover event , the Uganda Red Cross Society Secretary General, Mr. Robert Kwesiga applauded Coca-Cola for its humanitarian efforts at both a national and global level and for being a reliable partner in saving lives.
“Even before the outbreak of corona virus, we were partners with Coca-Cola. We have implemented several initiatives with them as our partners. Last year when there were landslides in Bundibugyo, Coca-Cola was among the first companies to respond in saving the lives of the people affected in the area. Now with COVID-19, Coca-Cola has been responsive both at a national- working with us locally and globally – supporting the International Red Cross,” said Mr. Robert Kwesiga.
Globally, The Foundation has extended support to both international and local NGOs, such as the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Amref Health by deploying a range of resources, including capabilities, funds and products to support governments, communities and local economies in their urgent efforts to contain the spread and impact of corona virus.
Robert Kwesiga further added that scientists earlier this year predicted that November and December would be the peak of COVID-19 cases. Uganda now has 23,200 COVID-19 cases so far. Of those, 2017 people have succumbed to the virus.
Medical aspects become one of the elements but the bigger element right now is around community engagement; people need to take responsibility, people need to take charge,” Mr. Robert Kwesiga cautioned.
The Government of Uganda under the guidance of the President, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni through the National Task Force set up a committee last month to roll out the community engagement strategy. The Uganda Red Cross Society as a member of the committee will be leveraging on its huge network and volunteer base across the country at district level.
The project is to be implemented in the areas of western Uganda; Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Isingiro, Ntungamo and Mutukula. In the Central region, the focus will be on the two Taxi parks in Kampala which have very high foot-traffic.