By Goodluck Musinguzi
Controversy shrouded materials donated to flood victims in Kasese district by the Office of the Prime Minister. Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja, Uganda’s Prime Minister was shocked to see substandard mosquito nets and blankets minutes before the official launch of supporting the displaced people.
“I refuse the mosquito nets and the blankets, return them to Kampala as we follow up whoever procured these materials”, Rt Hon Nabbanja declared in front of cameras and officials.
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health donated 2000 certified mosquito nets to replace the substandard ones bought by Office of the Prime Minister.
Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja , Prime Minister of Uganda received a consignment of 2,000 mosquito bed nets from Ministry of Health to be given out to Kasese flood victims. This follows a directive by Hon Nabbanja halting a distribution of the bed nets procured by OPM on grounds of poor quality.
The quality of mosquito nets delivered by Ministry of Health are certified by World Health Organization. Last year, 27 million mosquito nets were distributed among Ugandan households.
In Uganda’s southwestern district of Kasese, floods rip through valleys, creating paths of destruction almost every year, leaving communities displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and safety.
In May 2020, for example, River Nyamwamba burst its banks leading to floods that caused havoc in Kanyangeya village. Over 10000 people were affected by the floods that struck on May 05, 2020.
As if this was not enough, the same district experienced torrential rains in subsequent days, causing further flooding that left at least eight people dead.
A year later, up to 1670 people displaced by these floods are still being hosted in a camp at Mohokya, where the government of Uganda resettled them.
The secretary-general for Mohokya camp., says the condition in which these environmental and climate refugees live is appalling.
“There is only a single water point (tap) providing water for over 4000 people. This causes conflicts among locals and the displaced camp,” he insists.
Insigoma Joseph, the Kasese district planner, assures residents of a resettlement plan by the government. He says apparently, the Mohokya displacement camp acts only as a transit point from where the government plans to resettle all those affected by the floods.
Kule Mande, the head of the camp, decries the poor conditions in which these displaced persons live.
He, in particular, laments the lack of a health facility.
And also, residents continue to express worry over their children’s education after some of the schools in this community were destroyed by the floods.
Relatedly, social distancing in the overcrowded camp and hand washing in the area that faces water shortage are impossible for the many, which could lead to widespread of Covid-19 pandemic in cases it breaks out there.
Additional Reporting by Infonile.org