Kabale | RedPepper Digital – Leaders in kabale have asserted that the absence of existing law on the enforcement of environment management and risk responses to disasters in the country has hindered the effective implementation of disaster risks and preparedness strategies.
Leaders made the revelations on Friday during the launch of the National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas of Uganda in Kabale district held in the district’s main hall.
The National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas of Uganda is a booklet that locates areas which are prone to disasters in the country including the preparedness, response and management strategies.’
A team on disaster preparedness and management from the office of the prime minister is currently traversing the entire Kigezi Sub-region sensitizing technical and political leaders on the promotion of National vulnerability assessment, risk mitigation, disaster preparedness and effective response which is contained in the book dubbed the Atlas of Uganda.
Bridget Asinga Tumwesigye, The Kyanamira Sub County female District councillor who is also secretary for the works and transport Committee, the district environmental officer Evas Asiimwe and the natural resource officer Rodgers Akatwijuka said that government through the Parliament should sanction a bill that will help to compel people who seem adamant in embracing the disaster and risk preparedness strategies.
They also want the government to set aside some funds that would always be used to relocate people who leave in areas that are prone to disasters like floods, landslides, and lightning among others.
Asinga requested the Office of the Prime Minister to quickly rehabilitate Maziba Primary School whose buildings were destroyed by heavy rainfall last year.
In their response, the disaster preparedness officer Emmanuel Okecho and the principal disaster management officer in the office of the Prime Minister Catherine Ahimbisibwe said that they have formulated a bill with all the principles pending submission to the cabinet for approval.
They also said that they are currently being guided by the National disaster preparedness and management policy 2011.
James Mugisha the Kabale District Principal Secretary also highlighted the need for the Office of the Prime Minister to avoid delaying response to disaster reports arguing that it hinders service delivery and can also result in loss of lives in case of starvation due to destruction of gardens by flooding.
Julius Mucunguzi, head of communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, says that Government of Uganda through OPM has in pipeline plans to train journalists in Disaster Management as one way of reducing the number of lives and property lost during abrupt weather changes.
Mucunguzi stressed that they have come to realize that most victims of disasters across the country lose lives and property majorly because they lack knowledge on preparedness and management, and therefore the media would be one of the best channels of passing information to the communities residing in disaster-prone areas.
He further said that the Office of the Prime Minister is in preparations of mobilizing resources to facilitate training of journalists in weather analysis and use of Geographical Information Science so that they can be able to disseminate timely information to prevent loss of lives due to disasters such as Landslides, Floods, Drought, Lightings, among others.
The Disaster Preparedness Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister Catherine Ahimbisibwe said that the National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas was designed to equip Local government authorities in planning for better management of disasters.
The Atlas shows hotspots, causes and the mitigations measures for disasters faced in specific areas.
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According to the National Risk and Vulnerability Atlas, South Western Uganda, Elgon, Sebei and Rwenzori regions are prone to Landslides and flooding.
Other places prone to floods include Elgon, Bukedi, Rwenzori, Teso, Karamoja, Bulisa, Nakasongola, and West