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Eastern Uganda moving into recovery phase after floods, say UN agencies

Eastern Uganda moving into recovery phase after floods, say UN agencies

The United Nations relief wing said today that more than $25 million is needed to help local communities in eastern and northern Uganda recover from the impact of severe flooding earlier this year.

Nearly 400,000 people will need food aid through July next year, while providing safe water and sanitation, upgrading medical care and rehabilitating damaged schools are also priorities, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“The first wave of our emergency response has been a success,” said Timothy Pitt, the head of OCHA’s operations in Uganda, where the flooding struck between August and October after some of the heaviest rainfall in decades.

“We have gotten food to those in need and we have prevented any outbreak of epidemic disease,” he said, adding that seeds and plants are being distributed and an estimated 67,000 children have been vaccinated against measles following an outbreak.

But he said the local communities are now moving into the recovery phase, and it was critical that international donors respond in a way that stabilizes the affected population, especially the most vulnerable.

As of today the UN has received $14 million in commitments to its flash appeal for the Ugandan floods, well short of the $39.7 million target.

OCHA warned that while the most dangerous phase has passed, receding water levels are increasing the concentration of bacteria in some areas, adding to the risk of an outbreak of a waterborne disease. Tests show that more than half the region’s water sources are contaminated as a result of the floods.

Recovery efforts are also being hampered by the poor state of the roads network, with both roads and bridges substantially damaged by the inundations.