MTN CEO Mazen Mrouè pumps water to mark the official commissioning of the bore holes at the Kiryandongo resettlement camp for Bududa landslide survivors over the weekend
MTN CEO Mazen Mrouè pumps water to mark the official commissioning of the bore holes at the Kiryandongo resettlement camp for Bududa landslide survivors over the weekend

MTN Uganda and its partners in the MTN Kampala Marathon, including the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), Huawei, Rwenzori and New Vision have commissioned a water project in Kiryandongo from the proceeds collected during last year’s event.

The 6 months project was implemented using the Ushs 308 million shillings proceeds from the 9th edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon which MTN handed over to the Uganda Red Cross in February this year.

The Uganda Red Cross that was selected as the 2012 implementing partner for the project completed the construction of 10 boreholes, provision of 2500 jerry cans for storage and 100 sanitation tool kits each including a hoe, spade, pick axe, panga, hammer, rope and a wheel barrow. This was all in efforts to provide clean and safe water and improve sanitation for the survivors 2010 Bududa landslides that were resettled in Kiryandongo district. This calamity affected over 300 households that were settled in communities throughout Uganda including Kiryandongo.

Additional activities executed during the project included; the formation and training of 10 Water Source Committees in the different villages of the camp where the boreholes were constructed. There was also mobilization and sensitization on improvement of community sanitation resulting in the construction of 103 new household latrines within the communities.

Officials from MTN Uganda and representatives from the other stakeholders visited Kiryandongo to handover the water project to the community. The ceremony was presided over by the Honourable Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Hon. Musa Ecweru.

Speaking during the event, the MTN Uganda CEO Mazen Mroué said MTN Uganda will continue working with other partners to help make a difference in areas that matter most to the different communities in Uganda.

“MTN Uganda and our partners are committed to enhancing development in the communities in which we do business, not just by providing universal access to communication, but also through consistent contribution to provide basic and essential necessities such as clean and safe water, promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices and supporting education in Uganda,” Mroué added. He extended appreciation to the co-sponsors of the MTN Kampala Marathon that were instrumental in making the event a success and as Uganda Red Cross and other 2012 MTN Marathon sponsors – the Vision Group, Huawei and Rwenzori as well as our Pinnacle Security, Uganda Athletics Federation and the Uganda Police for their support adding that their effort has yielded clean and safe water for the Bududa community living in Kiryadongo.

MTN CEO Mazen Mrouè and disaster preparedness state minister, Musa Ecweru hand over jerry cans to Bududa landslide survivors at Kiryandondo resettlement camp.
MTN CEO Mazen Mrouè and disaster preparedness state minister, Musa Ecweru hand over jerry cans to Bududa landslide survivors at Kiryandondo resettlement camp.

Mroué further reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to partnerships with both the public and private sector to continue driving the national development of Uganda.

The displaced population was allocated land in this new area which had never had any settlement before and was generally water-stressed. That is why the Uganda Red Cross in partnership with MTN are trying to improve the current situation by increasing access to safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene conditions through construction of water sources. The land around Mutanda sub county in Kiryadongo which was allocated to the Bududa refugees was particularly lacking in terms of access to clean and safe water and hence its selection as the beneficiary for this project.

Bududa District which is a relatively new district created in 2006 with an approximate population of 146,000 people has over the years emerged as disaster prone area for landslides leaving the locals homeless and without access to safe water which made it an appropriate beneficiary of the proceeds from the Marathon.

The most recent landslide which occurred in June 2012 caused significant damage to farmland, crops, and livestock, claimed over 200 human lives and displaced an estimated 5,000 people.

Commenting at the event, the Member of Parliament for Kiryandongo, Honourable Sam Otada said, “If all businesses were as responsive as MTN Uganda to the plight of the communities where they operate then Uganda would be a much better place. The MTN Marathon is a unique platform where all Ugandans have the opportunity to contribute and make a difference; I call on my fellow Ugandans to answer this call and be part of this year’s event”.

The Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Honourable Musa Ecweru, commended MTN Uganda for consistently contributing to disaster response initiatives. He recognized MTN as a responsible Corporate citizen and a worthy developmental partner for the Government of Uganda.

He also applauded the co-sponsors of the Marathon the Vision Group, Huawei and Rwenzori and all Ugandans from far and wide that have consistently turned out in large numbers to not only participate in the MTN Kampala Marathon over the years as their commitment is what has made such  initiatives possible.

The MTN Kampala Marathon has since its inception in 2004 attracted over 100,000 entrants across local and international spheres and has to date raised close to Ushs 700 million to help the less privileged in various parts of the Uganda. This year’s event which will be the 10th edition is slated for Sunday 24th November, 2013.