Elly Walusimbi, the Community Liaisons Officer at the Police Fire and Rescue department, says the intervention is intended to train members of the community that can respond to both fire and water accidents in the different parts of the country.
At least 80 people living around Kasensero Landing site in Kyotera district have been trained to offer emergency rescue services during water accidents.
The Police Department of Fire and Rescue Services together with Swim-safe Uganda; a non-government organization dealing in drowning prevention and promoting water safety, have offered the training to community members with a purpose of improving their safety while on water bodies as well as building their capacities to respond to emergencies that occur in the area.
Elly Walusimbi, the Community Liaison Officer at the Police Fire and Rescue department, says the intervention is intended to train members of the community that can respond to both fire and water accidents in the different parts of the country.
He explains that the participants, who included schoolchildren and fishermen, have been equipped with better swimming skills with which that can provide timely rescue to water accidents and first aid to victims without necessarily waiting for police whose presence is still thin on the ground.
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Walusimbi says that many drowning-related deaths that have occurred on the different inland water bodies could be prevented if the community are equipped with rescue skills.
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Moses Kalanzi, the Executive Director of Swim Safe Uganda, says that together with Police they are identifying the most dangerous black spots on Uganda’s water bodies to ensure that the community neighbouring the lakes can stay safe around them using the community-based interventions.
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Edna Kumanya and Joseph Mataka Kajolo, some of the trainees have appreciated the training saying it has been long overdue since the island is one of most of high risks places on Lake Victoria.
They, however, expressed concern of the poor quality of life jackets sold to them, arguing that on top of being too expensive, many of them can hardly guarantee the safety of water users in times accidents.
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Kasensero Landing site is situated close to the Uganda-Tanzania border, near the upslope of River Kagera as crosses into Lake Victoria; where waters create a very turbulent movement which makes the crossing of water vessels so risky.