Posted by Ben Waira

On Saturday 9th June 2018, members of the Rotary Mariners of East Africa – Uganda Fleet, affiliated to the International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) visited an informal group - the Buhadyo and Mikombe Mariners Group in Butaleja, Eastern Uganda on the invitation by the group to find out about its developments since inception in 2015.

The initial objective was to improve on the safety and transportation on the water body connecting Butalejja to Kibuku District. It takes more than an hour to cross over, wading through the water hyacinth, on make-shift trunks (boats) that are curved out of long tree branches. These small “boats” carry up to five people if there is cargo/luggage (cattle and bicycles). The transportation system is also a challenge for school going children, so it’s the teachers who cross over to go to teach.

The ensuing discussion observed the need to acquire at least two better boats, shelters at the landing sites, life jackets for safety and determining eco-friendly boat systems. The issue of clearing the water hyacinth was also raised as well as prevention of water borne diseases.

A proposal to make bridge or a flat raft to ease transportation of school going children would be developed. In a bid to address sanitation, every family unit represented in the group was required to have a pit latrine.

The Rotary mariners look forward to more co-operation with this community to improve their well-being.

About the Author. PAG Ben Waira is a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala Central and Fleet Commodor of Rotary Mariners East Africa (The Rotary Mariners of East Africa – Uganda fellowships are held every third Saturday at Banana Village, Kitala Village, Entebbe).