Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ranger whose photos went viral as he saved a number of women and children from Bundibugyo floods has been awarded with a medal at the 34th NRM Liberation Day celebrations in Ibanda District.
Hannington Agaba was among the 95 people rewarded in honor of their heroic acts towards the development, peace and the liberation of Uganda.
Working as a community conservation ranger in Semiliki National Park, Agaba was filmed carrying old people and babies on his back in deadly Bundibugyo floods which claimed over 20 lives.
The ranger abandoned his post to help distressed locals. For this act, he has not only got a medal but has also been promoted from Corporal to Assistant Warden.
Speaking to Africa Tembelea, Agaba said that on the fateful day he was supervising restoration works in the area when he heard cries from locals that prompted him to respond since he knew it had rained the previous night.
“I was on another duty in the morning when I had an alarm and I had to move towards the noise. I found people stuck in volumes of waters. I was helped by a chappati man and I thank God that in that area no one died though over 20 died in other places,” Agaba said.
On his part, UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha On his part, UWA Executive Director Sam wandha has fulfilled the promise made by promoting Agaba from Corporal to Lieutenant since he has been exemplary.
“You people have been knowing UWA as one that cares for animals but we also care for people and this has been demonstrated by Agaba. He was not deployed to do so but he did it at his own will through his training,” Mwandha is quoted to have said last year.
Agaba thanked UWA for the training which enabled him to carry out such a heroic act even when he was not deployed to do so.
“I was trained to serve. Patriotism guides me and all I care about is serving my country in whatever way” … “I will keep conserving the environment, helping people and making Uganda better,” Agaba added.
This year’s celebrations are running under the theme; Celebrating NRM/A’s patriotic struggle that ushered in national unity and socioeconomic transformation.’ The celebration reminisces the climax of an armed conflict that began on February 6, 1981, at Kabamba Barracks, spearheaded by NRA fighters under the leadership of Gen Yoweri Museveni.Africa Tembelea