As if the Covid-19 lockdown of the world hasn’t been enough of a challenge… 

On May 6 in Western Uganda, deep in the Rwenzori Mountains, the River Nyamugasana jumped its banks and raced through the centre of the village of Kyarumba, destroying businesses, homes, crops, and the livelihood of hundreds of residents. 

For those of you who know me, I have a strong personal connection to this village, going back years, and all profits from my business, OnePoint ArtWorks, go to support Musasa Primary School (more about that here).  The reality is, my profits just don’t amount to enough to cover a disaster of this magnitude.  Money is tight there, and there are no discretionary funds available for such emergencies. The government is slow to respond, and aid from organizations such as the Red Cross seems to evaporate before it can reach such remote villages.

As reluctant as I am to ask for assistance, my friends in Kyarumba are in a very desperate situation, and the river is flooding again today as I write this on May 10.  It is my hope that, with enough support, we will be able to establish an emergency fund that will be used as needed to help restore some of the hardest hit people.

I know, there are so many worthy causes to choose from, and we are all tapped to the max right now. But if you are able to assist these fine people in their little corner of this world, it would be a wonderful thing. Link to our GoFundMe campaign here.

Photo: Douglas Cruickshank 2011

Among so many other losses, the flood took out the footbridge that 400+ children must use twice every day to cross the river once they are able to return to school.  The community has asked the government repeatedly to build a proper bridge, but it is unlikely ever to happen.  In the meantime, this footbridge is no more.  The people will no doubt pull together, cut down a couple of trees, nail on some planks, and put in a new footbridge.  They will do what needs to be done, as always. (Photo: 2011 Douglas Cruickshank)

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, Musasa Primary School was opened as a shelter for families that are unable to return to their homes. Some homes have been destroyed, some have unstable foundations. Needs are being assessed.

On Tuesday, Winnie Kiiza, MP for Kasese District, toured the area and made this plea for assistance.