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A Bridge to Kyarumba

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As if the worldwide Covid-19 lockdown 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 on my website).  The reality is, it's just not enough for a disaster of this magnitude.  Money is tight there, and there are no discretionary funds available for such emergencies.

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.  The money will be held in my account and disbursed as needed to my fine and trusted friends Kasibirehe Joseph and Ithungu Teddy.

For one specific example, the flood took out this 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

Photo: Kasibirehe Joseph


Karen McMillan
Nakusp, BC

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