Government earmarks Shs20b for emergency response

Sunday December 8 2019

Desperate. Residents of Bufutsa Parish in

Desperate. Residents of Bufutsa Parish in Bushika Sub-county, Bududa District, use rudimentary tools to search for missing persons following landslide on Friday. PHOTO BY LEONARD MUKOOLI  

By Benjamin Jumbe

The government has released Shs20b for emergency response across the country.
This was revealed by the State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Musa Ecweru, during a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre on Friday.

This follows landslides and floods triggered by heavy rain which left at least eight confirmed deaths in Bududa and Sironko districts.
“This Shs20b is for life-saving intervention, the first phase of the emergency response,” Mr Ecweru said.
He said as part of the life-saving interventions, there shall be emergency procurement of inflatable boats, tarpaulins, blankets, relief food, drugs for waterborne diseases and culverts for fixing washed away critical bridges.

“Shs10b will go to the Ministry of Works to make sure the highways are not cut off, it is not major repairs. Shs9b will go to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness to procure life-saving food and nonfood items, and then about Shs200m is going to fix equipment lost by meteorology department,” Mr Ecweru said.
The country has for the past three months experienced heavy rain which has caused flooding in several low-lying parts of the country and landslides in the mountainous parts of the country.
There has also been destructive winds and hailstorms which have ravaged plantations and crops across the country.

The minister further said as part of the life-saving mitigation and response actions taken, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), has so far provided hosting and hosted families with 200kgs of rice, 100kgs of beans, five pieces of tarpaulins and five pieces of mosquito nets.
Multiple landslides on December 3 in the villages of Namasa, Naposhi and Shukururu in Bushika Sub-county in Bududa District, killed four people, injured five and displaced more than 6,000 people.
In Sironko District, four people, including two children, were killed in Nabodi Village, Zesui Sub-county.
The minister said a number of villages in the districts of Bukedea, Serere, Ngora, Katakwi, Amuria, Kapelebyong, Tororo and Otuke were submerged. However, no injuries were reported as residents had early shifted to safer locations.

Not yet over. According to the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), the second rain season has reached its peak in most parts of the country and heavy rainfall is expected to continue up to end of this month.

bjumbe@ug.nationmedia.com

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