Over 10,000 floods and landslides survivors in Eastern Uganda get relief support from Uganda Red Cross society
Source: Uganda Red Cross
Date: 23 Aug 2018
Description: The April 2018 floods and landslides that hit Teso region in Eastern Uganda left communities devastated and in ruins; no food, shelter, household property and other basic needs. The heavy downpours that lasted for months washed away people’s homes, crops and left almost an entire region starving and displaced. About five people died in this catastrophe and thousands got displaced while fleeing to safety.
According to residents of Abarilela Sub County in Amuria district, this situation was worse especially for mothers, children, the elderly who struggled to survive after the destructive disaster. Communities have since failed to recover been crying to relief agencies and Government of Uganda to run to their rescue. On 17th August, Uganda Red Cross together with the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, with support from UNICEF and UNHCR, distributed relief non-food items worth Ushs 387 million to the affected households. The one-week long distribution exercise is meant to bring relief to those who lost their homes and property as a result of the floods and landslides.
“Today we are here to extend this to these affected communities. They have cried for a long time and the government appreciates the efforts made by our partners to respond in form of giving relief items that we needed to support the communities. Uganda Red Cross teams have identified the most affected sub counties and households to be the first priority for this relief support,” said Hon. Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and disaster preparedness.
Uganda Red Cross volunteers on ground working with the district disaster management committees assessed the impact of the floods and identified the most hit areas and the affected households. It’s these assessment reports that formed the basis of the distribution to the most affected families and communities.
"We are honored to take on the mandate to spearhead this distribution. These people were badly hit and have been suffering for so long. We appreciate the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda for overseeing this. We also thank our partners UNICEF for the Aqua tabs and covering the distribution costs, the UNHCR for the tarpaulins and blankets donated. Our volunteers have been in these communities doing impact assessment and verification. This is how we were able to identify the most affected households. We will also continue to other areas in North Eastern Uganda and ensure that all the households affected are supported with the relief items we have in stock. Thanks again to our partners for the support,” said Jimmy Asea, Officer coordinator for this relief distribution exercise at Uganda Red Cross Society.
Among the items distributed included 2,000 tarpaulins which will be used to put up temporary shelters for these families, 10,000 blankets for adults and children, and Aqua tabs for water purification. Teso region has in the past battled cholera outbreaks as a result of the floods, coupled with improper disposal of human excretion and contamination of water sources. According to Hon. Musa Ecweru, a recent survey indicates that 80% of the water got from the boreholes and other open water sources is contaminated and therefore needs to be purified to make it clean and safe for drinking.
With the Aqua tabs from UNICEF, Families will be able to treat and purify water before consumption. During the distribution the Uganda Red Cross WASH Officers held a sensitization session to demonstrate to the beneficiaries how to use and apply the water purification tablets effectively, and how to improve sanitation in their home surroundings. This will improve health of people and promote good hygiene and sanitation practices..
The sub county’s leadership couldn’t be any happier, they expressed their gratitude towards Red Cross and all the other partners for coming to their rescue. “We really thank Red Cross for what you’ve done today and what I believe you’re going to do in other parts of the region. The people of Abarilela have been suffering for so long following the loss of all our crops as a result of the rains. We understand that resources are never enough but there are still more affected people and our prayer is that you keep it up and expand this generosity to other remote parts of the district,” said Michael Eluluma the sub county chairperson.
Katakwi, Bukedea and Kumi Uganda Red Cross remains in communities, sensitizing people about effects of climate change and how to cope with resilience, serving communities, saving lives and promoting human diginity.