21 November 2007

Uganda: Flood Relief Has Been Mishandled - LC5s

Kampala — Flood victims receive relief from the Red Cross and UNICEF. LC5s in Kaberamaido and Amuria are unhappy with the relief distribution

Since floods hit the north and north east, many organisations have claimed to have donated billions of aid to the victims. However, local leaders in Amuria and Kaberamaido districts claim they have not seen the said donations.

"We only see this aid in newspapers," said Robert Engulu, Kaberamaido district chairman. In Kaberamaido, flood victims have resorted to begging from those who were not affected.

This is a contradiction to the fact that the Government issued about sh22b to cater for the floods emergencies. This was in addition to billions donated by NGOs including the Red-cross, Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Programme and other civil society organisations.

The affected people, among others, need food, seeds and other farm implements, shelter and domestic items like plates and saucepans.

"We have had only 360 bags of flour and 100 bags of beans brought here," said Julius Ochen, Amuria LC5 chairman.

Local leaders think the disappearance of the aid is due to mishandling. "There has been weaknesses on the side of the government, in issuing guidelines for the coordination," Ochen says.

For example, although disaster management committees were set up in the affected areas, assistance is sometimes issued through politicians, who give priority to their constituents.

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