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District officials said that they had received 500 and 160 bags of flour and beans respectively, from the Office of the Prime Minister plus a cheque of Shs35 million.
Distribution of supplies for Bududa District residents affected by landslide began Thursday; four days after the soil avalanche buried three villages.
By 3pm, more than 600 residents had received blankets, utensils, jerry cans/saucepans and water purifiers from Uganda Red Cross Society at its relief distribution centre at Bukalasi Sub-county headquarters.
The society’s Secretary General, Mr Richard Nataka, said about 1, 500 people were supposed to get aid by yesterday.
Ms Aida Khainza, a resident of Nametsi – the centre of the destruction, said “The humanitarian assistance is little and does not address our immediate need, which is food since all our crops have been buried.”
By some fortune, Mr Onapito Ekomoloit, the Nile Breweries director for corporate affairs, arrived with a truckload of 100 cartons of energy biscuits, 500 cartons of bottled mineral water and 4, 000 blankets plus 50 tarpaulins.
Metres away, hundreds of residents queued on the afternoon downpour to pick their package that seemed a prized thing in the area. Ms Florence Nandutu, 52, trekked 10 kilometres from Bukitoyi village in Bumayoka Sub-county, which was not directly affected by the killer mudslides. Her tale, underlines the burden awaiting aid workers to sieve the most needy in a community where majority residents are in a state of need. “We heard that they were giving out aid and we were mobilised by the Local Council officials to come and get assistance. That’s why I came,” she said. Mr Mark Choenoo, the Unicef emergency specialist, told Daily Monitor that they had dispatched trucks carrying medical and other non-food supplies to cater for 10, 000 people in three months.
District officials said that they had received 500 and 160 bags of flour and beans respectively, from the Office of the Prime Minister plus a cheque of Shs35 million. Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta, the director for emergency coordination and operation centre in the Office of the Prime Minister, said the response by all actors to the Bududa disaster had, up until yesterday, been “ad hoc”.
“A lot of contradicting information has been given out,” said Gen. Oketta, adding: “There are opportunists who want to use the misinformation either for economic gain or political reasons and this must stop.”
South African President Jacob Zuma, yesterday sent a message of condolence and support. While the Danish government announced a contribution of 200,000 Euros.(aboutShs554m). Tullow Oil Uganda Ltd General Manager Brain Glover gave a Shs100 million cheque to the Prime Minister Prof Apollo Nsibambi. CNOOC International Ltd, a Chinese oil company, also pledged Shs100 million. AON, an insurance agency, has donated blankets. Euroflex has donated 50 mattresses to the survivors. Nation Media Group has also launched a campaign for collecting items for survivors.
Additional reporting by Alfred N. Wandera, Yusuf Muziransa and Sharom M. Omurungi