Due to torrential rains, areas around Mt. Muhabura in Western Uganda, Kisoro district on Tuesday, 25 experienced flooding and mudslides.The floods affected Sub-Counties of Nyarusiza, Muramba and Bunagana. Over 800 people were affected, and left 9 dead.
A Joint assessment of the affected area was conducted involving the Uganda Red Cross, Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), the Police, Wild life Authority, Kisoro District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) led by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and members of the affected communities.
Uganda Red Cross Response
According to Irene Nakasiita, the Uganda Red Cross Spokesperson, the Uganda Red Cross branch, Kisoro Volunteers led by the Branch Manager responded immediately to support emergency evacuations, search and rescue for the missing persons, offered psycho-social support among immediate actions.
Nakasiita revealed that the Branch also provided 9 dead body bags to aid the decent management of the retrieved bodies.
She noted that on Wednesday 26, Uganda Red cross with support from European Union (ECHO) through a consortium with Netherlands Red Cross, Internacional Federation of the Redcross / RedCrescent activated immediate response within 24 hours.
“300 most affected families were selected for this relief aid. We have coordinated with the Office of Prime Minister who will also be sending more support in form of food and non food relief to the affected communities. We thank our partners who enable us to have prepositioned relief stock that we can immediately utilize when such disasters occur,” she said.
Adding, “This support supplements what we have already offered as life saving interventions and we believe this will enable them develop coping mechanisms.”
The Minister of State for Disasters from the Office of the Prime Minister, Esther Anyakun, joined the response and appreciated the fast response made by the Uganda Red Cross Society.
“We thank Red Cross for coming in so fast to save the situation. The Government through the Office of the Prime Minister has also prepared food and non food relief kits and this will be coming through soon. We have also prepared 500,000/= for every family that lost someone and I am here to pass on the condolences to the families. We will work with your district leadership and Members of Parliament from your district to see how to find land and relocate the displaced families.” Anyakun added.
The district leadership mentioned that this is the first kind of heavy flooding and mudslide disaster they have experienced since time in memorial.
“We request the Government to support us to establish the cause and source of the mud and such heavy flooding. We have failed to know where this water came from. We need experts to come and go to the mountains to conduct thorough research,”
“ We also request a team from all concerned Ministeries of Government to come for a Joint assessment exercise to help us restore the affected infrastructure. We need roads, water sources, livelihoods and all Government departments and Ministries responsible should come in to help us.” Said Sarah Mateke, Woman MP for Kisoro, who also doubles as the Minister of State for Youths.
During the response, Uganda Red Cross used pre-positioned stock from Kabarole Ware House and quickly deployed a trained team of fast Responders to support the affected communities.
Red Cross will soon activate a Crisis Modifier to enable access to Multi-Purpose Cash to support families that lost businesses and livelihoods.
“Cash enables affected families to make choices of what they need to buy amidst disasters. This allows them a chance to maintain their dignity, as opposed to predetermined relief which may not necessarily address the immediate needs of the people.” Frank Namara – ECHO support Consortium Manager – Disaster Preparedness & Response.