The Uganda Red Cross said the lack of funds has frustrated its efforts to manage disasters in the country.
“For example, when a disaster occurs, donors ask us to go and do an assessment (of the situation). They say to go and write a proposal and it takes time, but the displaced people will not wait for this. process,” said Robert Kwesiga, secretary general of the Uganda Red Cross Society.
“We have over 500,000 people across Uganda who can give us timely messages regarding disaster preparedness, what matters is just equipping them with the necessary information and equipment. Our challenges are the funds.”
Kwesiga was speaking at a stakeholders meeting between the Red Cross and MPs from a number of parliamentary committees at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday.
The meeting aimed to ensure practical ways in which MPs can support and advance the cause of the Uganda Red Cross, as well as discuss the disaster risk reduction agenda in regards to early action, funding targeted, early warning and early action.
The secretary general of the Red Cross said MPs should value and have disaster and climate information so they can use it when legislating.
“When appropriated, MPs can make it happen for money for disaster management, which enhances early action if provided. Disasters are on the rise and their impact on life is enormous.We need to keep talking about it so that the public and the decision-makers appreciate these notions.
The secretary general of the Uganda Red Cross insisted that the government, through parliament, should provide them with the basic resources to ensure that they fulfill their mandate.
He also called on the government to commit to forecast-based financing, a mechanism that uses climate and weather forecasts to enable rapid disbursement of funds to implement advanced preparedness actions before a potential disaster. from happening and early action interventions.
Speaking in the same meetings, MPs reasoned with Uganda Reed Cross that there was a need for the government to commit resources to help prevent and deal with disasters.
“Our ministry has never predicted anything in this country, our weather station has never predicted anything good. What equipment do we use? Colonial equipment? In other countries they predict disasters and even evacuate their citizens “, said the deputy of the municipality of Busia, Geoffrey Macho.
MPs insisted that the government should make disaster management a priority and commit resources to it.
“Buying cars should be secondary for the government. I call on the government to prioritize resources to fight climate change.”
The development comes amid floods that hit Kasese district following heavy downpours that hit the country.
The floods and landslides have claimed more than 15 lives, with the Red Cross warning that more rain is coming and the effect could be worse.