● Here is her full report read to Parliament about the number of Sunday Heavy rains’ death, Emergency action taken and what is in government plans
STORY BY: MOSES MUGALULA
THE Head of State His Exellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has committed Ug. Shs. 5,000,000/= (Five Million) to each of the 23 bereaved families in Mbale Bugisu Sub region who lost lives due to Sunday July 30, 2022 heavy rains to cover burial expenses, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja tells Parliament yesterday.
In a Statement by Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja on the situation in Mbale City and the Greater Bugisu and Sebei Subregions following heavy rains that caused death and displacement, Prime minister told the August House that . As of Monday August 1, 2022, a total of 23 people were confirmed dead.
“Amongst them was a Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier, several bodies and motorcycles are feared to be still trapped on river beds and a number of people are still missing. Several homesteads have been destroyed and families displaced.” Reads Rt. Hon. Nabbanja’s statement.
PM Nabbanja revealed how Government has intensified early warning mechanisms following information from Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) showing that this is just the beginning, more heavy rains will hit Mbale city, Greater Bugisu and Sebei subregions.
“Government is using various media channels like radio and TV to alert people on pending disasters since it has just started raining. Police will setup Road blocks to prevent people from crossing dangerous bridges and other locations in case of eminent danger.” Nabbanja told Parliament.
PM’S FULL STATEMENT TO PARLIAMENT ON BUGISU FLOODS:
Rt. Hon. Speaker and Hon colleagues, l would like to inform the House that, I travelled to Mbale City on Sunday July 31, 2022, following the devastating floods caused by heavy rains on the night of Sunday July 30, 2022 resulting in the overflow of Rivers Nabuyonga and Namatala in Mbale District. This has led to deaths, destruction and displacement.
Rt. Hon Speaker, on arrival in Mbale City, I was led by the Resident City Commissioner, Mr Ahamed Washaki, the district leadership and technical staff to the most affected areas, notably:
Nabuyonga River along Mbale-Kumi Road, Nambale Bridge along Tororo Road and Mbale industrial Park. We also went to City mortuary where we found 10 bodies.
Main findings so far:
- As of yesterday August 1, 2022 a total of 23 people were confirmed dead. Amongst them was a Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier, several bodies and motorcycles are feared to be still trapped on river beds and a number of people are still missing. Several homesteads have been destroyed and families displaced.
- At Mbale industrial Park, a big section has been submerged and the products and equipment were reported destroyed.
- Nabuyonga and Bunghoko Bridges were seriously affected, causing cut-off of Water supply to Mbale City.
Emergency Actions taken:
- After the tour and inspection of the damage, I chaired a multi sectoral meeting comprising of local leaders and officials from Ministry of Health, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Uganda Red Cross, Disaster Preparedness Department of Office of Prime Minister, Uganda Police Force and UPDF. The purpose of the meeting was to come up with a quick detailed assessment to enable Government respond effectively.
- His Excellency, the President of Uganda has committed Ug. Shs. 5,000,000/= (Five Million) to each bereaved family to cover burial expenses. The list for the dead from the Resident City Commissioner, Mbale, is here by attached.
- Government, through The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness under the Office of Prime Minister has provided relief food to the tune of 90 metric tons to Mbale City, Kapchorwa and Mbale District.
- UPDF and Police have intensified search and rescue operations by clearing the river beds. The Ministry of Water is on the ground to reconnect the water supply at Bunghoko Bridge. Ministry of Works and UNRA are clearing roads that have been blocked.
- Government will urgently embark on restoration of damaged infrastructure in the affected areas including Mbale industrial Park.
- Government has intensified early warning mechanisms using information from Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) and using various media channels like radio and TV to alert people on pending disasters since it has just started raining. Police will setup Road blocks to prevent people from crossing dangerous bridges and other locations in case of eminent danger.
- People who have illegally encroached on wetlands or, settled close to river banks and forests will be evicted.
- Office of the Prime Minister using the UPDF Engineering Brigade is coordinating the Bulambuli Resettlement Project aimed at resettling identified households at high risk of landslides in Elgon region.
Government has so for constructed and setlled 272 households at Bunambutye resettlement in Bulambuli Disirict. We have also constructed a Health center III and a Primary School in this Settlement. Approximotely 2500 people have been settled.
Our budget was affected by the floods that hit the country and Covid- l9 Pandemic.
The Bulambuli Resettlement Project is targeting up to 900 households from the five most landslide prone and affected districts in the Elgon region.
The resettlement process is being implemented in a phased approach, with the first, second & third phase already completed.
ln the fourth Phase, Government plans to construct 100 houses.
Cabinet chaired by the President yesterday (Monday) extensively discussed this matter and came up with Short, Medium and long Term solutions.
Today (Tuesday), I chaired a meeting of Development partners to plan and respond to the situations at hand.
The Government has so far done the following:
● Constructed 101 houses with pit latrines and kitchen in Phase One;
● Constructed I40 houses in Phase Two;
● Constructed 22 houses in Phase Three;
● About 34 houses to be constructed under Phose Four;
● Constructed Bunambutye Primary School within the settlement and recruited Headmaster ond staff for the Primary School;
● Constructed Bunambutye Health Centre and its fully staffed;
● A market is to be constructed within the settlement;
● The process to give the settlement a Town Council status is ongoing U der Ministry of Local Government.
- Today (Tuesday) I chaired a coordination meeting involving relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies and partners namely: Ministries of Works and Transport, Health, Defense and veteran Affairs, Education, Internal Affairs, Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Local Government, Finance, Uganda investment Authority, National Planning Authority and Red Cross to expedite rescue operations.
ln Conclusion Government has deployed all responsible agencies and technical teams in the sub region for continuous assessment and appropriate intervention.
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