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UN continues to provide support for flood-ravaged Ugandans

UN continues to provide support for flood-ravaged Ugandans

The United Nations is continuing to deliver aid to the hundreds of thousands of Ugandans suffering from the worst flooding the Central African nation has seen in decades.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), latest reports indicate that flooding has spread to two additional districts, bringing the total affected to 32, and the banks of the Rwizi River in south-western Uganda have burst.

Water and sanitation systems have been severely disrupted by flooding, raising the risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases. Concerns have been heightened in recent days due to several cases of bloody diarrhoea in Katakwi district.

After consulting with the Government, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator has identified priorities for the first phase of the emergency response, including stabilizing the initial food situation, preventing disease outbreaks, reopening schools and responding to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable.

Access to those affected – for both assessments and delivering emergency supplies – is a major challenge for aid workers since key roads have been damaged. Last week, the UN Humanitarian Air Service flew in more than 10 tons of food and almost eight tons of basic household items.

A team from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) arrived in Soroti district on Monday to start an assessment on early recovery needs.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided classroom tents while the registration of all primary leaving examinations candidates is under way and supplies are being procured. The agency has also provided one Basic New Emergency Health Kit to Oromo sub-country to cover 10,000 people for 30 days.

Although a flash appeal for $41 million was issued two weeks ago to help flood-beleaguered Ugandans, OCHA said that to date only two per cent has been funded. Some $6 million has been released from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for priority life-saving needs.