Water Journalists Africa
September 23, 2011
Up to 72, 254 people have been affected by the ongoing disasters mainly in Eastern, Central and Western Uganda as well as West Nile. The disasters ranging from landslides, floods, hailstorms to fire outbreaks occurred between August 29th, 2011 to date.
According to a Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) Disaster Response Operation report of September 21st, 2011, the most affected population of 35, 125 is in Bulambuli District, Eastern Uganda. The communities have been affected by both landslides and floods. The Sub Counties affected are Sisiyi, Lusha, Namisuni, Nabbongo, Bukhalu, Bwikhonge, Bunambutye, Bulambuti, Muyembe and Buluganya.
In Bukise, Butandiga, Bukhulo Sub Counties and Sironko Town Council, Sironko District, 9, 292 people have been affected by floods. In Ngenge Sub County, Kween District, 1, 320 people have been affected by floods. In Namasaba Sub County, Mbale District, floods affected 225 people.
Floods affected 3, 354 people in Mazimasa and Himuntu Sub Counties in Butalejja District while 640 people have been affected by floods in Bukedea and 1, 940 in Nakapiripit. 1, 750 people in Docha Sub County, Pallisa District also experienced a hailstorm.
In Central region, hailstorms affected 1, 086 people in Masaka; 1, 962 in Rwengo and 492 in Mpigi. In Western Uganda, hailstorms affected 951 people in Mitooma and Buhwenju. In West Nile, floods affected 2, 570 people in Moyo district and 2, 040 in Nebbi. Floods also affected 1, 820 in Ntoroko while 1, 011 and 90 people in Kisoro and Buhweju were recently hit by landslides.
The Uganda Red Cross Society has distributed relief items to 21, 470 of the affected communities in Bulambuli, Sironko, Bukedea, Butalejja, Mbale, Buhweju, Kasese, Rukungiri, Moyo, Ntoroko, Kibaale, Sironko and Kampala (Bwaise). The relief items have consisted of essential household items like blankets, tarpaulin, saucepans, jerrycans, basin, soap, cups, plates, mosquito nets and food provided by Government through the Office of Prime Minister.
According to the Secretary General Michael Richard Nataka, URCS is working with Office of Prime Minister, respective district leadership and other humanitarian agencies like UNICEF, STAR E, World Vision to alleviate the suffering of the affected.
He said URCS’ assessments recommend relocation of people in Sisiyi, Buluganya, Lusha and Namisuni in Bulambuli from high risk areas to safer place.
Nataka further notes that the Bulambuli District Disaster Management Committee resolved that NGOs and humanitarian agencies plan for three months interventions. The URCS assessments further recommend the distribution of food for three months in the sub counties of Bunambutye and Bwikhonge in Bulambuli because the two sub counties were experiencing food shortage before the floods and landslides.
With support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), URCS plans to support another 59, 090 beneficiaries with relief items. In addition, URCS is conducting health education and hygiene awareness assessments and gathering of health information including disease surveillance to improve health status, health awareness and reduce incidences of water borne and vector transmitted diseases.
Tracing and psychosocial services are also being provided to those that have lost contacts with their loved ones and those traumatised.
URCS’ long term recommendations for disasters include installation of early warning systems through community disaster risk reduction approach, speeding up the relocation of people in high risk areas, senstisation of communities on proper methods of farming, massive tree planting on the hills and mountains across the country.