MTN Foundation has handed over 10 houses to families in Kiryandongo who were displaced by the 2010 Bududa landslides. This is as a result of a pledge that was made by MTN Uganda to contribute towards the construction of houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organisation that focuses on building low cost houses for the under privileged. The 10 low cost houses constructed at a cost of UShs.135 million.
“At MTN Uganda, we realize and understand the importance of continued support towards the communities where we operate. The landslide that displaced the people of Bududa shocked the whole country and the world and deeply touched us at MTN and that’s why we decided to come in and help,” said Mazen Mrouè, CEO MTN Uganda.
On the evening of March 1st, 2010, three entire villages were erased and over 400 people buried alive in one of the worst Bududa landslides. Most of the over 8,000 affected victims, with no homes, destroyed gardens, animals and livelihood were relocated to temporary camps in Bududa.
To date, 4000 people have been unaccounted for. Eighty nine households (406 individuals) have since been transferred by government to Kiryandongo District where they were allocated 2.5 acres of land. Since then, government has relocated the displaced families to various camps. The government is also initially providing agricultural in-puts, equipment and food items for six months as they prepare to plant their own food.
Mroué thanked the government for its efforts in resettling the affected families. He reiterated that the selection criteria for the beneficiaries of the houses, was set by MTN’s partners, Habitat for Humanity. It was based on consideration of the most vulnerable groups in the camps which included the women and children particularly families with babies and young children that need to be together to be able to cope with issues of hygiene, food and safety.
“Governments all over the world are over whelmed by emergencies like these, and most times, especially in the developing world it is important for partners to answer the call and provide support for the relief efforts. As Uganda’s number one corporate citizen, we believe it’s our obligation to support government efforts in areas like these,” Mroué said.
The partnership between MTN and Habitat for Humanity spans over 10 years. The first houses built through this partnership date back to 1999, with the first homes being in Mbale and Hoima districts. Since then, MTN Uganda has built a total of 237 homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity housing close to 1380 individuals; this is the largest number of homes funded by a corporate company.
The MTN Uganda Foundation is a not-for-profit legal entity that was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its’ Corporate Social Investments (CSI). The Foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where MTN Uganda operates in a sustainable way. Over the past five years since its launch, the MTN Foundation has supported a number of initiatives in the areas of Education, Health, Arts and Culture, Environment, Community Development and Low cost housing.
The MTN Uganda Foundation partners with both public and non-profit credible organizations to execute sustainable projects in each of the chosen focus areas. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that the selection and approval of its projects are conducted in a manner that is transparent, systematic, efficient, and effective while promoting its mission.
In 2013 and onwards, the MTN Foundation will focus on three key areas so as to leverage scale to achieve significant development impact. The three sectors will be Education, Health and National Priority Areas.
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Launched in 1998, MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunications firm in country with more than 7.7 million customers as of 31 December 2012.
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