I read in the media about the endless reports on disasters happening in Uganda. Of great concern to me is a situation where after a disaster has occurred, our people begin to blame government for slow response. Recently, there was a media story that carried a list of top countries in Africa that freely “give”, and Kenya was on top. Surprisingly, Liberia, which is poorer than Uganda, is among the top givers in Africa.
Giving is a situation where citizens come together and start raising funds and collecting items to help the vulnerable in case of any unlikely event of a disaster. This works well instead of waiting for government response which we are not certain of. We should sensitise people and make them know that government alone cannot solve all their problems. We should learn to respond to calamities and freely give help where possible.
Imagine a population of about 40 million Ugandans. Imagine if 15 million of these could raise at least Shs2,000, the overall collection would be Shs30b. This amount can go a long way in helping the disaster-affected people go through the situation. This is what happens in many countries in the West.
I believe that this is a viable option for us Ugandans. It is a means of us owning and becoming part of solutions to the challenges we face.
Richard N. Ogwang,