The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has released the March-April-May (MAM) seasonal rainfall outlook for 2023, indicating potential disaster in some districts.
According to the forecast, during the (MAM) season, the country is expected to experience Near Normal rainfall in Karamoja, Bugisu and Bukedi, Near Normal to Below Normal rainfall in several parts of the country (Busoga, Teso, West Nile, Btinyoro, Lango, and Acholi), Near Normal to Above Normal rainfall in some parts of the country like the Rwenzori, Kigezi, Central and the Lake Victoria basin.
Hon Esther Davinia Anyakun the Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees said in a statement to media this morning, that Ugandans should expect disasters like flooding and waterlogging in the low-lying areas and parts of lower slopes of Mt Elgon, Butaleja, Butebo, Rubanda and Kasese.
This, according to the minister, is likely to lead to the destruction of farmland and crops.
The rain is also expected to cause landslides and mudslides as well as increased soil erosion in highland areas in Elgon, Rwenzori and Kigezi.
“We should expect that hailstorm at the onset may cause destruction in the districts of Kibaale, Ssembabule, Ibanda, Tororo, Rakai, Mukomansimbi, Isingiro, Mitooma and Mbarara,” says Hon Anyakun.
She also noted that there will be an increase in incidences of crop pests and diseases such as the Fall Army Worm and an increased likelihood of water-related diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and Malaria.
The government has so far put in place some strategies like relocation of persons at risk of landslides in the Bugisu Region under the Bulambuli Resettlement Program. A total of 305 houses have been constructed so far, of which 42 are newly constructed. “Relocation of households will take place by April 2023,” she says.
The minister adds that the government is strengthening existing community-level disaster risk management capacities and disseminating warning information through community radios.
“Implementing the Cash transfer program with Give Directly, to persons at high risk of landslides in the districts of Bududa, Manafwa, Sironko and Namisindwa,” says the minister.
The government has already procured relief food for provision to communities that will be affected by disasters during the MAM season.
Disseminate early warning messages to the vulnerable communities to enable them to understand the risks they are most likely to face, Build the capacity of individuals, communities and institutions to reduce risk and enhance greater resilience and Activate district contingency Plans. Improve Storm Water drainage system capacity and clear drainage channels in urban areas especially where flash floods are common.
“As we continue to monitor these changes and the progress of the rainfall episodes, we encourage the Disaster management structures at the district level, such as District Disaster Management Committee/District Disaster Policy Committee members to continue with sensitization and monitoring of early warning signals and encourage the communities to take early action,” says the minister.