The Uganda Red Cross Society has said lack of enough funds has frustrated their efforts to manage disasters in the country.
“For example when a disaster happens, the donors will ask that we go make assessment (of the situation). They say go and write a proposal and that takes time yet the people displaced will not wait for that process,” said Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General of Uganda Red Cross.
“We have over 500,000 people all over Uganda who can give us timely messages in regards to disaster preparedness, what matters is just equipping them with the necessary information and equipment. Our challenges are funds.”
Kwesiga was on Tuesday speaking during a stakeholders meeting between Red Cross a MPs from a number of parliamentary committees at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala.
The meeting was aimed at ensuring practicable ways in which the MPs can support and advance the cause of the Uganda Red Cross Society, as well as discuss disaster risk reduction agenda in regards anticipatory action, focused based financing and early warning and early action.
The Red Cross Secretary General said MPs ought to appreciate and have information about disasters and climate so that they can use it while legislating.
“When appropriating funds, the MPs can make it happen for money for disaster management which improves early action if provided. Disasters are on the increase and their impact on lives is enormous. We need to continue talking about them for public and decision makers to appreciate these concepts.
The Uganda Red Cross Secretary General insisted that government through parliament ought to provide them with basic resources to ensure they achieve their mandate.
He also asked government to commit itself to forecast based financing , a mechanism that uses climate and weather forecasts to enable timely disbursement of funds to implement advanced preparedness actions before a potential disaster happens and early action interventions.
Speaking during the same meetings, MPs reasoned with Uganda Reed Cross that there is need for government to commit resources to help avert and deal with disasters.
“Our ministry has never predicted anything in this country, our weather station has never predicted anything right. Which equipment are we using? colonial equipment? In other countries they predict disasters and even evacuate their citizens,” said Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho.
The MPs insisted that government ought to take disaster management as a priority and commit resources for it.
“The things of buying cars should be secondary for government. I call upon government to put resources as priority to address climate change.”
The development comes on the backdrop of floods that hit Kasese district following the heavy downpours that hit the country.
The floods and mudslides have seen over 15 people killed with Red Cross warning that more rains are coming and the effect might be worse.