By Isaac Norman Mwambazi
For a country that relies heavily on agriculture as the backbone of her economy, you would think that rain would be appreciated every time it came but this is not the case in some parts of Uganda, which are prone to flooding.
In some parts of the country, torrential rains have ruined crop lands, displaced people after destroying their property with floods and some have been buried by landslides, losing their lives in the process.
In such times, it is the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees that swings into action to save the lives of those affected by providing relief through food and relocating them to safer areas. This usually requires a big budget.
After a few months of the dry season, the wet season has returned and landslide/flood prone areas are going through it again already. Villages in Busia, Kasese, Bududa and even Kampala have had their fair share of floods and now the Disaster Ministry forecasts there is going to be more.
While dressing the media at the Uganda Media Centre, on Friday, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness, Hillary Onek, said that his Ministry needs Shs66 billion to address the effects of the floods in different parts of the country. This comes after the same Ministry has reportedly spent Shs40 billion already since April this year.
“Mothers and children were affected most with huge needs ranging from lack of clothes, food, and all basic needs for them to cope with the bad weather amid displacement. The problem has expanded to areas that were never affected before. For short term measures, we are requesting for about Shs66 billion from the Ministry of Finance,” Onek said.
He added that the government will continue sending early warning messages to communities in disaster-prone areas across the country to inform them that heavy rains are on and that they should be prepared for natural disasters.
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