Uganda: Churches Send Relief to Kasese Flood Victims

map_of_ugandaBy Benon Tugumisirize (The New Vision) – Churches in Uganda under the umbrella of Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) and Act-Alliance have donated items worth US$60,000 (about sh160m) to victims of the recent Kasese floods.

The relief items were mostly household stuff – 1200 saucepan sets, 1000 jerrycans, 1500 boxes of soap, 1000 blankets, 1000 mosquito nets, together with 100 sleeping kits.

In addition to this were 60 cooking stoves, 20 boxes of water purifier, and much more.

Violent floods ripped through various communities earlier this month, leaving a state of devastation and hopelessness in their wake.

Communities ravaged were from the divisions of Bulembia and Nyamwamba, and sub-counties of Kilembe, Karusandara, Kitswamba, Kyabarungira, Bugoye, Maliba and Kyalumba.

But the worst hit was Karusandara sub-county.

The catastrophe left hundreds homeless, with much of their livelihoods washed away by the violent waters – a situation that immediately sparked off resettlement as well as health concerns.

Kasese district authorities and the Uganda Red Cross Society swung into action to relocate the displaced people to temporary camps out of the risk zones when the unforgiving flood waters broke out.

Handing over the items, Fr. Silvestre Arinaitwe who is UJCC’s executive secretary revealed that it was a joint humanitarian response from the churches.

“These items are from the people of God as a gesture of oneness with you the flood victims, the affected and your loved ones,” he said.

Bishop Jackson Zerebende of South Rwenzori was among the people that received the aid, and he delivered a committed warning as regards the items.

The clergy man cautioned those that intend to divert the items from reaching the intended parties.

He underlined that the donations from UJCC will meet the first line of support, and he maintained that more support will be needed up to the harvest season of January next year.

But this noble cause was met with a disappointing revelation by the bishop, who told well-wishers to be wary of ‘Ugandan rats’.

Asked what he meant by ‘Ugandan rats’, Zerebende explained that the past few days featured complaints that some prominent people in the district – especially politicians- were instead diverting relief necessities to their voters who are not flood victims.

To him, he sees such people as fit to be called ‘Ugandan rats’ since they have no sympathy for those in suffering.

And so his call to everyone was to pray that the items, which are substantially vital for the victims’ survival, reach the intended persons.

Both government and the area residents are left to deal with the extreme destruction left behind by the natural disaster.

Schools in the affected areas remain closed, and it does not help that some were carried away by the harsh flood waters. Most of the infrastructure demands rebuilding, with major roads and washed away bridges creating a deep wound in the transport system.

Uganda Red Cross Society has said the affected people need up to 11 million litres of safe water if disease is to be avoided, amid fears of a cholera outbreak.

Categories: Africa

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