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Red Cross unveils UGX 1.6 Billion disaster response action plan

Uganda Red Cross Society. PHOTO via @UgandaRedCross

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Red Cross Society has unveiled 1.6 Billion shillings disaster emergency action plan for responding to disasters associated with September – December rainfall season.

The society says the plan has been informed by seasonal weather forecast released by Uganda National Meteorological Authority indicating that there will be heavy rains associated with thunderstorms, hailstorms, landslides, lightning and flash floods among others.

Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary-General of Uganda Red Cross society says they are preparing to respond and mitigate anticipated adverse effects of some of the predicted disasters. He says some of the disasters are already happening in some districts around the country.

“For example we now know that 15 districts have already been affected by torrential rains with some registering Cholera outbreaks that has killed two people and affected 229 people in Busia, Bududa, Kyegegwa and Isingiro” Kwesiga said.

Kwesiga says devastating flooding and landslide events have occurred in Bulambuli, Butaleja, Bududa, Manafwa, Mbale, Sironko, Amuru, Kasese, Nakapirirpirit, Otuke and Bundibugyo districts.

The society projects that the seasonal disasters will affect at least 5,000 people in 1,000 households around the country.

“What the country should worry about is that emergencies are on the increase globally. And we must raise money to save lives and protect properties. This is a key priority for all of us. We pray that this worry shouldn’t become realities and we start counting dead bodies” Kwesiga urged.

Dr Josephine Okwera, Director Health and Social says also appealing for multisectoral response approach to the anticipated disasters to minimize the impacts on livelihoods.

“We advise communities to practice handwashing, hygiene and sanitation practices in order to avert some of the anticipated disasters. Where they lose access to clean water, we advise that they boil available water before using them. Otherwise, look for safe and clean drinking water to prevent Cholera” she added.

Robert Kanakwasa, the Director Disaster Risk Management says past experience shows that adverse weather emergencies in Uganda affect up to 3 Million people in terms of food security, sanitation and health while direct Climate change-related disasters affect up to 10,000 people.

Dr Halid Kitunda, the chairperson of the Central Governing Board of Uganda Red Cross Society says the appeal funds will be mobilized from Ugandans, well-wishers and donors to support families with emergency relief non-food items, temporary shelter for displaced people, health and life-saving interventions.

He said “the others will go towards hygiene promotions, access to clean and safe water, early warning sensitizations for communities on climate change and potential disease outbreaks. The others are training of more disaster response volunteers, offering psychosocial support among others”.

Dr Kirunda says the high population growth rate in the country is having huge impacts on climate and weather in the country.

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