Exactly 15 days into, like officially, in the world of responding to #Uganda Kasese Flood emergency. Hello world, what the hell have you been up to? 15 days ago, I woke up to a text message on my Nokia phone over the floods in Kasese, and as a public health specialist- a certified public health freak to be exact, had to ensure that my skills of epidemiology and risk assessment are put to task by successfully infesting fellow stakeholders! (Watch the language). I hurried myself with a fully packed personal kit to Kasese by a taxi- which was delivering daily monitor newspaper, and by 7am, I was live in Kasese! I’d have loved to blog on my personal experience being here, but the schedule was too tight to have my brain-in-blogging-mode button activated. My sincere apologies!
So, anyway, I find the town rather hot, it has to be 30 degrees + and I have to get my bottle water refilled like every 1 hour (Iam no fish) haha…but hell yes, I ‘love’ everything about emergencies: ranging from the busy environment, to die-now plans, you know..but yes! Lots of organizations both the public and the private are vigilant to support the cause for humanity and I’d bet my last dollar on any one who doubted that #SolidarityforHumanity should have been the 1st commandment . World Vision, UN bodies (WFP, UNFPA, FAO) Red Cross, FURA, the local government, the OPM are all in high gear to have this commandment achieved! I love this solidarity, but I ask myself, how possible, we’d love to have this ongoing long before a disaster happens. Alright, so, I don’t mean to say that we should encourage disasters but my point is we need to be able to foretell, forecast, and prepare accordingly, because from the health point of view, when a disaster happens, it affects the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well being of an individual, a society and can even get global.
(Above, volunteers being trained in PHAST approach for hygiene promotion, and thereafter doing hygiene promotion in a section of the displaced people).
Another experience Iam beginning to learn more about the world of emergency response is ‘Flexibility’. Right, so, this doesn’t mean that we don’t plan in emergence response, but I would prefer to call it ‘Flexiblility in Planning’. All the time, things are changing and changing very first and I mean FAST. When you have planned to do a distribution of blankets in Section A of a stated camp, Iam beginning to get acclimatised to experience the change in plans to instead do distribution of food in the same section as well as doing a community sensitisation event or a first aid demonstration. I bet, it is the same approach that the Scouts like to call ‘Be prepared’ As it turns out, Iam heading to Kabarole, bordering Congo for more assessments with WFP. Can you say no, if you were me, not a chance, that’s why Iam proud to be a humanitarian worker!
Catch you soon or tweet me live @BrianBilalK1 and I got no problem in responding because I got a response time of less than 10 minutes!
Note: Views stated herein are solely mine and not those of the employer. Please consult with the concerned persons for up to date information concerning #KaseseFloods
©Brian Kanaahe Mwebaze Bilal is a Public Health Programmes Manager #EmergenceHealth #FirstAid #RoadSafety for the Uganda Red Cross Society