The Government has started stocking food and other relief items as the country braces itself for heavy rains that weather experts warn could trigger a series of natural disasters.
A weather forecast released by the department of meteorology in the Ministry of Water and Environment recently, revealed that heavy rains were expected and could result into floods and landslides in some parts of the country.
Releasing the forecast, environment minister Ephraim Kamuntu said scientists had warned of "an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall (more rain than usual) over most parts of Uganda."
Rose Nakajugo, the commissioner for relief and disaster preparedness in the Office of the Prime Minister, told Saturday Vision that the Government had sent out an advance team to various districts to monitor the situation and register households that could be at greater risk, ahead of the onset of rain expected between March and April.
The peak of the seasonal rains is expected around early April, through early May.
Nakajugo said they had stepped up early warning alerts to help people prepare in case the situation got out of hand.
"We are working with our partners to send out messages through SMS and other media. The messages have been translated into several local languages to ensure a wider reach. Our disaster preparedness team across the country has been placed on red alert," she said.
Weather experts advised Ugandans living in flood-prone areas to build flood-proof houses or vacate to safer localities.
Residents in mountainous areas, which are prone to landslides, were warned to watch out for cracks and report them to the authorities.
Lightning and thunderstorms are also expected and people are urged to puton rubber sole shoes and avoid sheltering under trees.
Malaria and waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and bilharzia are likely to increase during the season.
The forecast warns that eastern Uganda will bear the brunt of the heavy rains. Nakajugo said Teso, Karamoja, Kapchorwa and Butaleja were under observation.
In 2010, abnormal rains or El Nino triggered massive mudslides and floods in Bududa and Butaleja, leaving hundreds of people dead and scores homeless.
Officials in the works and transport ministry said the impending rains posed a big problem to the road network.
Dan Alinange, the spokesperson of the Uganda National Roads Authority, said they were ill-prepared to deal with the heavy rains.
"When we heard the news, we knew we were in for a rough time," he said. Alinange said they did not have enough funds for road maintenance, which is critical during such a period.
"Out of the sh1.2 trillion we receive every year, only sh150b goes to road maintenance. This is not enough, considering that the number of disasterprone areas has been going up," he said.