August 14th 2014
On 1st May 2013, three rivers of Mubuku, Nyamwamba and Nyamugasani in Kasese district burst their banks causing massive flooding and devastation of Kilembe Mines estates, Kasese town and the surrounding villages. The disaster had far reaching effects resulting into the death of eight persons, destruction of property and displacement of more than 3000 persons, many of whom were forced to live in emergency camps. Cabinet therefore, noted the magnitude of destruction that had occurred as a result of heavy rains which caused floods in Kasese district on May 1st 2013 and directed the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to avail funds amounting to Shs 39 billion to facilitate the relocation and resettlement of people in all areas that were highly prone to landslides and floods.
This was because Cabinet realized that emergency operations and responses to the medium term development initiative aimed at restoring basic services, the recovery needs of the affected populace are still immense and require a more comprehensive approach for full recovery.
Therefore, the Kasese District Disaster Recovery plan 2014/2015 is a comprehensive response to the recovery needs of the affected areas and surrounding communities by reducing their vulnerability and enhancing their resilience to possible disasters of a similar nature.
The floods affected several sectors including Agriculture where food security of the people remains threatened. It will take approximately two planting seasons for the affected people to recover their livelihoods. Indeed more than 100 livestock perished, about twenty nine fish ponds were destroyed and 731 acres of agricultural land with crops were washed away by the flooding rivers.
The transport sector was not exceptional. The disaster resulted into the destruction of 20 bridges in the area including, mubuku, bridge along Kasese-Fortportal Road. Both murrum and tarmac roads were damaged cutting off communities and rendering access to different points difficult. This immensely affected the local economy and delivery of social services especially health, water and sanitation and education.
The floods washed away most of the inhabited houses with people’s belongings rendering the communities helpless particularly in Kyarumba, Maliba, Bulembia and Nyamwamba Divisions. Kilembe Mines Hospital, a 200 bed health facility and a main referral hospital was affected with a number of medical equipment and property including 50 housing units for staff destroyed. A number of classroom blocks and sanitary facilities in various schools including Bulembia, Road barrier, Nyamwamba and Kasese Primary Schools were destroyed.
It’s on the basis of the foregoing concerns, urgency and sensitivity of the issues that cabinet approved the Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/2015 that spells out measures aimed at recovery of the area focusing on the key affected sectors as well as addressing some of the root causes of river flooding.
The Recovery plan also aims at reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing the resilience of the district and its populace. The recovery plan takes cognizance of the prioritized needs of the affected communities arising out of the local consultations. It will also promote recovery of Kasese District after floods, rebuild and promote business in Kasese, restore people’s livelohoods and to build their resilience to disasters and enhance early warning systems on natural disasters in the district. Cabinet therefore noted the humanitarian challenges caused by flooding in Kasese District in May 2013 and the colossal damages occasioned to varous sectors in the district.
It also noted the need to redirect recovery and development of Kasese District through implementation actions in the Recovery Plan and approved the Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/2015. Cabinet also directed the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to frontload the money contained in the budget for FY 2014/15 to various sectors to facilitate the implementation of the critical activities of Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/15 to prevent recurrence of floods likely to result from the El-nino rains expected in September 2014.
FOR GODA AND MY COUNTRY
Namayanja Rose Nsereko (MP)
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE