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MPs want more funds for calamity prevention

MPs have urged the government to focus more funds on the precarious as a way of reducing the rising consequences of calamity in the country.

Following an engagement meeting with top officials from the Uganda Red Cross society at the Imperial Hotel in Kampala yesterday and with the officials from the office of the prime minister intended to help furnish MPs with critical information so that they can better appreciate issues on climate change and legislate better in the face of rising disasters in the country.

However according to a detailed budget report of 2022/23, the office of the prime minister was allocated Shs 13.805b for disaster preparedness and refugees.

According to the chairperson of the parliamentary committee Lawrence Songa argued that this was a critical issue of mitigation and its our considered view that we will be wasting time investing billions on infrastructure since they can easily be washed away and end up losing all investments.

He further added that recently the government had lost power substation in Mbale to floods which had been recently constructed at a cost of Shs 9b while in Bulisa a health center IV had also been destroyed, it had been submerged by floods.

However according to a recent report by the United Nations Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs more than 300000 people had been reportedly affected by floods and landslides in eastern and western regions while an estimated 65000 people have been displaced.

The leader of the Opposition in Parliament Hon Mathias Mpuuga however criticized the government’s slow response to evacuation as well as offering relief support to Ugandans

While meeting Mbale City disaster committee the MPs were told that while they had received relief food and 150 tarpaulin covers their distribution however failed to kick off since the 1.2m disbursed by the OPM was in adequate.

Mpuuga cited that contingency funds should directly be given to the local governments since the real business to do with that money is at that level and not in Kampala since every district or city has its own disaster management team.

However during the meeting, the MPs also raised the issue of encroachment on wetlands urging the government to address the double standards when it comes to handling people  like the investors while throwing out the locals encroaching on it said Rev Father Charles the Mp for Gulu East constituency.

In addition the Bunyole East in Butaleja district Hon Mutembuli Yusuf called for increased sensitization on climate change programs for better stakeholder support.

While citing out an example of an ongoing project under the water ministry to map all the country’s wetlands to preserve them he said the government wasn’t involving local leaders a case which caused resistance in some areas including Butaleja.

Robert Kwesiga however called upon the MPs to appropriate resources to help them archive their mandate since funds are stipulated in the revised legislation which parliament passed last year.

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