Following the 2014 MTN Kampala Marathon which attracted over 20,000 participants, MTN Uganda and its partners including Huawei Uganda, New Vision, Rwenzori Water and Stanbic Bank handed over the UShs. 450 million collected during the Marathon that was held in November under the theme “Run for water”. The cheque was handed over to the First lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Honourable Janet Kataaha Museveni and the District officials from Kotido district at a function held at State House Entebbe.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) which has partnered with MTN over the years to successfully organize the MTN Kampala Marathon.
The handover over of the marathon proceeds is a fulfillment of MTN Uganda and its Marathon partners’ promise to utilize the 2014 Marathon proceeds to deliver safe and clean water to the people of Karamoja.
The MTN Kampala Marathon is an annual initiative aimed at creating opportunity for all Ugandans and Non Ugandans to contribute towards the development of the country by raising funds towards a noble cause. Over the last eleven years, the Marathon has grown to become the biggest sporting event in Uganda with thousands of people from all walks of life, participating to donate towards a noble and worthy cause.
Last year, MTN and its partners commissioned 18 boreholes in Nakapiripirit district, constructed with proceeds from the 2013 Marathon. The 2014 Marathon proceeds will go towards a similar cause in Kotido district due to the high demand for clean water in the Karamoja region. The selection of Kotido district as beneficiary was made after the evidence from Uganda Bureau of Statistics -UBOS poverty map and primary data indicated that more than 80% of the people in the district were living below the poverty line. A full needs analysis was carried out to ensure that the neediest villages in Karamoja would benefit from this water project.
The Uganda Human Development Report 2005 (UNDP 2005) ranked Karamoja Region as the second last in the country Human Development Index of 0.24 where high levels of poverty were attributed to frequent drought and insecurity.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, MTN Chief Executive Officer Brian Gouldie underscored MTN Uganda’s commitment to add value in the lives of ordinary people through initiatives such as provision of clean and safe water adding that the partnership with other Corporate Companies and with the Government of Uganda as developmental partners is one of the strategies to realize the vision.
Gouldie added, “We take pride in the fact that every participant who took part in the 2014 Marathon whose theme was “Run for Water”, joined hands with MTN and our partners to make a difference in the lives of the people of Karamoja. At MTN, we dedicate ourselves to the cause of improving the society we live in by harnessing the passion that we as Ugandans have within ourselves. The MTN Kampala Marathon is one such vehicle for community support”.
On her part the First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Honourable Kataaha Museveni referred to the event as a celebration of the spirit of Social Responsibility being championed by MTN and its partners, a move she said should be emulated for the good of communities in need.
She added: “This culture of selfless giving should take root in our society to grow the outreach to needy people. Your ability to rally people for a worthy cause has resulted into 18 boreholes which we commissioned last year in Karamoja. That project is now benefiting 4,800 people in seventeen communities in Nakapiripirit district. I thank MTN, Huawei, New Vision, Rwenzori Water and Stanbic Bank for championing this noble cause”.
On the selection of Kotido district, another region in Karamoja, Mrs. Museveni said Kotido district is currently witnessing the re-settlement of people in greener areas which are still water stressed hence the need to provide safe water.
“It is heartening for me to know that you have selected the North-eastern district of Kotido as beneficiary of the 2014 proceeds with the aim of increasing water accessibility. For this matter I will be present to flag the 2015 MTN Marathon this year”, she concluded.