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Building Resilience and Partnerships in East Africa

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Katie Bitten, Programmes Manager, recently visited Uganda and Kenya, where RedR UK have numerous ongoing projects. RedR is working with partners to provide real-time training to those responding to the current devastating drought in the region, where OCHA currently estimate over 36 million people are impacted 

The Horn of Africa Drought has highlighted once again just how severe the impact of climate change is on the region, and the importance of not only global mitigation efforts, but adaptation and preparedness. The RedR UK Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction programme has been running in the region since 2021, and supports communities to prepare and respond to the realities of climate change. RedR UK is also supporting greater inclusion of technical expertise in the region into humanitarian responses, through its Humanitarian Skills for Engineers programme, running in Uganda since 2020.

Bringing together engineers and humanitarians in Uganda

One of the key achievements of the trip was hosting a networking event for engineers and NGOs in Uganda, discussing how to bring local engineers into disaster relief in Uganda. Participants were able to network, give voice to some of the challenges in engineers and humanitarians working together, and find solutions, together. 

The event was attended by the Ugandan MP for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hilary Onek, and featured on Uganda NTV news. In collaboration with Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers and the College of Engineering, Makerere University, the event also had many additional guest speakers including from Oxfam and the Uganda National Roads Authority.

As part of the event, we also announced the opening of a microgrant scheme, whereby we will be awarding small scale funding to humanitarian engineering projects in Uganda, alongside providing technical support. Read the poster to the right and download the forms below to apply!

Microgrant application form

Microgrant financial template

Interview with Katie from the Networking event for engineers on NTVUganda

Uganda Networking Event

Uganda Networking Event 

Other highlights from the trip

  • Attending a royal reception with HRH Princess Anne, RedR UK President, and the Prime Minister of Uganda, Robinah Nabbanja, hosted by the British High Commissioner. 
  • Visiting Makerere University engineering labs, the oldest and largest university in Uganda, and one of our partners for the Humantiarian Skills for Engineers programme.
  • Meeting with our RedR UK trainers and associates in both Uganda and Kenya – RedR utilises local training expertise wherever possible, and have nearly 50 trainers in the East Africa region.
  • Interviewing past participants of the climate change adaptation programme, hearing exciting ways they have been putting their skills learnt from RedR into practice, including developing innovative energy-saving stoves for use in rural communities, and incorporating protection of vulnerable people into water distribution projects in refugee camps
  • Developing a set of training materials for humanitarian responders across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, with inputs from local NGOs and our project partner, SOLO

See the full networking event in Uganda