On 31st March a storm destroyed approximately 60 houses in the Butaleja District. Noah is a little bit of HOPE (Uganda)’s project coordinator and is leading our response to the storms. He tells us how storms have affected Mr Kanani Woola and his family.
Mr Woola is 60 years old and is married to Loyce. They have nine grandchildren living with them. Their house was badly damaged in the storms.
Eight of the children go primary school, while one is too young. He and his family farm, which provides them with enough food to eat and he also weaves mats to sell and generate a little income. He then uses this money to buy paraffin (to light the home), food (for example, vegetables that families don’t tend to grow themselves), school books for the children, and drugs when family are sick.
When the storms came on 31st March, Mr Woola says it started with winds blowing at a very high speed. Lightening came next, and then soon after 11pm the rain began. The wind and the rain just kept getting more intense – and then the hail stones began to fall.
By this time everyone in the house was awake (and Ugandans are used to having to sleep through severe rain!) A window frame was blown into the house and hit his head, inflicting a nasty wound. The children were sleeping in another room, so he got his wife to gather them all together, to try and keep them safe. Then, before he was able to think about what to do next, the wind lifted the roof off the house, into the air, and threw the iron sheets and timber some distance from the house.
At this point he opened the door so that children could run to the nearby kitchen hut. But as he did so, the wall collapsed onto him. His wife took the children into the kitchen hut and then came back to try and find him. The rain was beginning to ease now, but he had been covered with bricks. His wife thought he had died and started to call for the neighbours to come and help her remove the bricks from him.
When they discovered he was still alive they contacted several people who helped them and called the ambulance from the Busolwe Hospital – which spent a busy night taking people from across the area to the hospital. Mr Woola’s injuries were not life threatening, but he required stitches for his head-wound, and his whole body is still in a lot of pain and he finds it very difficult to walk. He has to spend most of the day lying down. He certainly isn’t able to farm, make mats, or think about rebuilding his family home.
During the storm, many of the families possessions were damaged including saucepans, plates, mattress, bed sheets, clothes, radio, school books, and perhaps most seriously (as harvest is several months away) food that was stored in the house. What make this even worse is that many of their crops were also damaged.
After the storm, they spent a few nights sleeping under a tree. But then the family managed to repair a small house which they are all sleep in together at the moment.
Will you help us support the Woola family and other families in a very similar situation? In discussion with the local government and other NGOs we are going to enable families like this one to rebuild their homes and the lives.
You can give now by:
Make cheques payable to ‘a little bit of HOPE’ and write ‘Butaleja Storm’ on the reverse. Post them to a little bit of HOPE, 16 Priory Road, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8EW
Go to our online fundraising page.
Our bank details are, The Cooperative Bank, Account Name: a little bit of HOPE, Sort Code: 08-92-99, Account Number: 65521142. (Include the word ‘Storm’ in the reference.)
Text “ALBH13 £5” to 70070 to give £5. To give £10 text “ALBH13 £10”
If you’re a UK taxpayer, don’t forget to complete a Gift Aid form – it will increase the size of your donation by 25% – at no extra cost to you!