Northern Uganda 2023
After waiting out two years of Covid-19 and then an outbreak of the Sudan Ebola virus, 5 colleagues (Landon Woods, Randy Shinduke, Tara Coultish, Christy Rouault, Kate Robey), an astrophysics student (Arnaud Michel), another one of those Invermere B.C. photographers (Linda Harrison), and Paul Bauman are back in Northern Uganda 20 days after the country was declared Ebola free. And while the White Nile offered a physical barrier and some protection for Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (the LRA), from Ugandan forces to the south, the singular passage across the Karuma Bridge likely helped safeguard Northern Uganda from any Ebola cases.
We are once again funded by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists' humanitarian foundation Geoscientists Without Borders, along with generous support from our company BGC Engineering and its humanitarian foundation BGC Squared, a grant from the Kingston-North Kitsap Rotary Club, and a very generous equipment donation from Guideline Geo AB. Our partner here is, once again, the now not-so-small Israeli NGO IsraAID.
IsraAID has been providing our on-the-ground logistical support and, most importantly, the community engagement. In particular, IsraAID was tasked with identifying at least 10 Acholi villages, schools, or health clinics highly dependent on water wells that are no longer functioning, and 10 villages, schools, or health clinics with no reasonable access to a safe source of drinking water.
The fatigue of moving 50 pieces of luggage across the globe, going from -20 C to +35 C, and trying to accomplish something significant within our first few days has been exhausting. It is all just a warm-up, though, as in two weeks our plan is to be carrying out a water exploration program in a far more challenging and desperate area, near-famine conditions Kakuma and Turkana County.
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