The Minister of State for Environment, Hon Beatrice Anywar has warned the country of impending heavy rains which she said are likely to lead to severe flooding.
Anywar who was presenting a statement on the World Meteorological Day to be marked on 30 March said that weather forecast reports indicate that from March to May 2021, most parts of the country will experience heavy rains.
“The coming rains as indicated will be characterised by floods, water logging, hail stones, landslides, lightning and high risks of malaria and cholera,” said Anywar.
Anywar said this should be an awakening call to government to prepare for the looming disasters in order to mitigate their effects. She said her ministry is however constrained financially and called for extra support from other relevant ministries.
“Severe budget cuts of shs14 billion from our vote affected our activities; we have inadequate weather monitoring equipment and infrastructure, she added.
Ngora District Woman MP, Hon Jacqueline Amongin said that the ministry should pass on the meteorological reports to the farmers who she said hardly access the information.
“Farmers have limited access to meteorological information, so I wonder which plan you have in place to inform farmers and enable them plan on how to deal with the coming rains,” Amongin said.
Amongin urged the Ministry to put up infrastructure that will enable harvesting of rain water and converting the deadly floods into water that would be useful in dry corridor districts.
Hon Patrick Nsamba (NRM, Kasanda North) criticised the manner in which government communicates weather reports saying it is generic information and does not benefit people.
“I expected to hear the minister say that according to information we have, this is going to happen in Central Uganda, this is going to happen in Western Uganda. For example, are the hailstones going to be in Karamoja alone?’ Nsamba asked.
West Budama South MP, Hon Jacob Oboth said over the years, weather reports have been released but implementation and enforcement of recommendations has been lacking.
“Tororo has since 1950s been known as the corridor of lighting, but you find schools without lightening arresters,” Oboth Oboth said.
Manjiya County MP, Hon John Baptist Nambeshe said he was disappointed hearing Anywar announce a disastrous rainy season without stating the mitigation plans.
Anywar reiterated that plans were under way to establish water reservoirs to help harvest the coming heavy rains and use water in dry corridors and for irrigation.