Joint UN, Ugandan Government teams to assess impact of severe flooding

Joint UN, Ugandan Government teams to assess impact of severe flooding

The United Nations and the Ugandan Government are set to deploy teams to assess the impact of severe flooding in the eastern part of the country resulting from unusually intense rainfall over the past month – the heaviest in 35 years.

Many parts of eastern Uganda have witnessed significant flooding since the rains began in late July, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release issued today in the capital, Kampala.

An initial inter-agency assessment, carried out with the support of local authorities in Katakwi and Amuria districts, revealed that nearly 2,000 people across the two districts have been forced to leave their homes due to the flooding and nearly 4,000 households have reported damage to food crops.

According to the Uganda Red Cross Society, which has also conducted initial assessments in the districts of Amuria and Katakwi, as well as in Budada, Bukeda, Kumi and Sironko in eastern Uganda, nearly 10,200 households – some 50,000 individuals –had been affected.

In addition to forcing thousands from their homes and causing substantial damage to crops, the floods have damaged roads and bridges, making it difficult to reach the affected populations.

While there have been no confirmed outbreaks of infectious disease so far, OCHA warns that current conditions are ripe for increased rates of malaria, diarrhoea, skin diseases, respiratory chest infections and intestinal worms.

The two teams will begin their assessments in the Teso and Mbale regions by the end of the week, focusing on the impact on water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, health, food security, shelter, and road conditions.

They will be led by a representative of the Office of the Prime Minister/Disaster Management Office and supported by experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN World Food Programme (WFP) and OCHA, as well as the Uganda Red Cross Society.