The U.S. Government through its U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), this week announced that through Catholic Relief Services, non-governmental organization, it would make cash donations to help flood-affected persons in the Elgon region.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Uganda said through USAID, at least 2500 of the most affected households would receive between UGX 386,000 to UGX 536,000.
Heavy, sustained rainfall that showered the Elgon region between July 30-31 resulted in significant flooding, landslides, and mudslides across six districts of the Mt. Elgon Sub-region where three major rivers burst their banks and flooded low-lying areas. The US Embassy says that an estimated 100,000 Ugandans are believed to have been affected by the flooding.
The Embassy said: “After the Government of Uganda requested international humanitarian assistance, U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown issued a Declaration of Humanitarian Need for flooding, landslides, and mudslides in the affected regions, as well as for additional potential impacts from continued heavy rain should they meet specified criteria.”
The United States through USAID is awarding Catholic Relief Services (CRS) funds to provide 2,500 households with a one-time cash transfer of between UGX 386,000 to UGX 536,000. The cash will be sent directly to identified, vulnerable households in the hardest-hit districts of Mbale, Bududa, Bukedea, and Bulambuli to help meet basic needs such as food, sanitation, and temporary shelter, all of which are available for purchase in markets accessible to the recipients.
The Embassy added: “To ensure that U.S. assistance reaches the most vulnerable, CRS will coordinate with local government officials and affected communities, and also consult with those who work with marginalized groups such as women, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. USAID will continue to liaise with the Ugandan government and relief agencies to determine the type and amount of potential additional assistance.”
EU, also chips in
In a related development, the European Commission on August 25, 2022 announced it would offer EUR 150,000 (UGX 566 million) in humanitarian funding to assist the families most affected by the extensive rains, resulting in flooding the Elgon region.
The European Commission has provided EUR 150,000 (UGX 566 million) in humanitarian funding to assist the families most affected by the recent extensive rains, resulting in flooding and landslides in multiple districts in eastern Uganda near Mount Elgon.
The EU funds will support the Ugandan Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering much-needed relief assistance in the aftermath of the floods and landslides, especially to displaced families whose houses were extensively damaged by the heavy rains. Assistance will include the provision of emergency essential household items, including blankets, mosquito nets, solar lamps, jerry cans, soap and kitchen sets, as well as tarpaulins for temporary shelter.
The URCS will further provide multi-purpose cash and voucher assistance to meet the food, livelihoods, and shelter as well as basic needs of the 500 most vulnerable households in the Elgon sub-region. The approach is based on the needs and response assessment that informed the cash and voucher support feasibility among the affected communities.
Many of the affected persons have also taken shelter in government schools and community halls. With overcrowding and limited sanitation facilities, the risk of a disease outbreak is high. This funding will support the provision of water treatment tablets to prevent water-borne diseases. The URCS will reinforce health centres with mobile health teams to reach the most vulnerable people. The Red Cross society will also conduct health promotion exercises, give psychosocial support as well as provide menstrual hygiene kits for women and girls of reproductive age.
Running for four months, this operation is expected to assist over 9,000 people in the 3 most affected districts including Mbale, Bulambuli and Bukedea districts.