KAMPALA – The State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Musa Ecweru has revealed that the Government allocated Shs100b to be used in areas affected by disasters.
Mr. Ecweru made the remarks while presenting a status report on impact disasters have caused and government’s preparedness to deal with disasters in the past six months.
The Minister told Parliament that Government set aside Shs106b to address disaster losses and damages to food security, education, food production and health service delivery to facilitate Ugandans affected and displaced by disasters.
According to the breakdown, of this money, Shs40b will go towards averting the hunger crisis in Karamoja, Teso, West Nile, Acholi and Lango areas where over 3.5 million have been left with no food to eat and been left prune to hunger and starvation.
The Minister detailed the impact of disasters where he revealed that 15 lives were lost in Buyende district and 5 lives in neighbouring Kamuli District and that Government supported the bereaved families with burial expenses and will help reconstruction of their homes with 30 iron sheets and 20 bags of cement and that 1,334 homes were damaged in the two districts.
Mr. Ecweru also said that over the last 6 months, the Country has witnessed drought, strong winds and hailstorms, transport-accidents, fires, lightening, human epidemic diseases, crop pests and diseases, land-conflicts, internal displacement and environmental degradation and warned that disaster threats are likely to continue in the coming weeks with the country likely to witness Floods and Landslides in addition to the above.
He said that Cabinet at its seating on Monday 13th May 2019 approved Shs39Bn for emergency procurement of fast-maturing seeds such as maize, beans, sorghum, millet, peas for quick distribution to our people in order for them to make use of the current rains.
The health sector hasn’t been shared with the Minister noting that thirty-one District Health Service Systems have been affected by epidemic diseases and destructive storms that saw Cabinet approve Shs1.605Bn for repair of the affected health facilities and for preparedness for epidemics such as cholera and meningitis.
Mr. Ecweru also said that 85% of the population of the sub-region of Karamoja with a population of 1,200,000 people is at the emergency level of food insecurity meaning most people hardly access one meal in a day after the Karamoja subregion witnessed only one rainfall since the year began and efforts by Karamojongs to plant have been frustrated by rain failure and the residents have been left to survive on wild roots and leaves.