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Parliament Lauds Uganda Red Cross Society Efforts in Rwenzori Disaster Mitigation

The Ugandan Parliament has commended the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) for its role in mitigating disasters in the Rwenzori region and has committed to providing further support.
Members of the Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction spent two days in the Kasese district to investigate the causes of recent disasters and develop long-term solutions.
They also evaluated the URCS’s interventions aimed at mitigating future disasters and supporting affected communities.
This visit followed a series of disasters that struck the Rwenzori region starting on May 9, 2024, including landslides and floods that resulted in loss of life and property.
The team, led by Hon. Isaac Mudoi, acting in place of the forum chairperson, included Assistant Kasese District Administrative Officer Kikuse Musitafa, Rwenzori Regional Police Commander Alex Muhumuza, and URCS Emergency Operations Manager Frank Namara.
One of the key sites visited was Bughungu Church of Uganda in Kibathi village, Kanyatsi parish, Kyondo Sub-county.
Here, URCS had set up a prefabricated emergency shelter for 169 households displaced by the May 9 landslide.

Some of the members of the Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction talking to the internally displaced people at Bughungu Church of Uganda camp.

In Karusandara Sub-county, the team inspected community radios installed by URCS in Kivengenyi village and other early warning systems, including flood flag posts, evacuation routes and sites, trenches, and desilted streams.
Frank Namara, URCS Emergency Operations Manager, urged the internally displaced people and local leadership to ensure proper use of the mobile disaster shelters, highlighting their importance for both Kasese district and the broader Western region.
“The mobile shelters are prepositioned in our regional warehouse in Fort Portal. We are also adding mobile disaster toilets to enhance our WASH interventions during any disaster response,” Namara noted.
Hon. Mudoi Isaac expressed gratitude to URCS for empowering communities to adopt local disaster preparedness and response methods.
He committed, on behalf of his committee, to drafting a report for the Prime Minister detailing their findings and presenting a motion in Parliament to develop long-term solutions for Disaster Risk Management (DRM), including the formulation of a DRM law.
Muke Jevinary, the LC3 Chairperson of Kyondo Sub-county, thanked URCS for providing decent temporary accommodation for the internally displaced people through the disaster emergency shelter.
“These people were at risk of being attacked by dangerous reptiles like snakes. It also wasn’t safe for our young girls to share the same room with men in that small church of Bughungu and the makeshift houses,” Muke said.
He added that the prefabricated emergency shelters allowed for the separation of men and women.
Everest Serugyendo, the Chairperson LC1 of Kivengenyi village in Karusandara Sub-county, also expressed his appreciation for URCS’s efforts in disaster preparedness and response.
He credited these interventions with saving his community from recent disasters.
“Karusandara used to flood, including my home where we are now seated. However, URCS provided us with tools like hoes and spades, and funded the digging of trenches and creation of water channels. They also set up this community radio, which I use to disseminate early warning messages and share weather forecasts in our local language,” Serugyendo explained.

In addition, at the Kabughabugha Traditional Centre in Kyalumba Town Council, the URCS team of emergency responders had set up a camp to address the emergency health needs of internally displaced persons from two camps: Bughungu Church of Uganda in Kibathi village, Kanyatsi parish, Kyondo Sub-county, hosting 169 households, and St. Michael Primary School in Mughanza village, Kyalumba Town Council, hosting 180 households, all displaced by landslides.