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Stop Using Kasese Floods For Allowances: Urgent Action Needed To Protect Lives.

Stop Using Kasese Floods for Allowances: Urgent Action Needed to Protect Lives.

In recent years, the Kasese floods have become a recurring nightmare for the residents of the Rwenzori region. What began in May 2013 has continued unabated, with devastating floods hitting the area year after year. These floods have brought destruction, displacement, and despair to thousands of families.

Despite numerous high-profile visits by government officials, tangible solutions remain elusive. Instead, these visits often appear to serve as opportunities for officials to collect allowances, while our people continue to suffer.

Much as am not yet aware of the resolutions or intentions of the parliamentary Committee visit again in Kasese this May 2024. I am not hopeful for a solution reading from the previous visits.

While I expressed my disappointment in July 2021 on how the Kasese floods had turned into a tourist attraction for leaders who would be problem solvers, little or nothing has been witnessed by us the ordinary Ugandans regarding the floods.

The Constitution of Uganda mandates the government as the provider of essential goods and services that individuals cannot secure on their own. It positions the government as the solution to collective action problems and the creator of public goods. Yet, in the case of the Kasese floods, the government’s response has been woefully inadequate.

In May 2013, when the initial severe floods hit Kasese, Hon. Minister Musa Ecweru visited the region, distributing some relief items. However, the relief was short-lived.

Just a year later, in May 2014, the floods returned, prompting another visit, this time by President Museveni, who promised aid to the affected families. Yet again, in December 2019, then Prime Minister Rugunda visited and called for urgent action from government agencies. Despite these repeated high-level visits, substantial and long-term solutions have not materialized.

The pattern continued with visits from parliamentary committees and other high-ranking officials, including Rt Hon Nebbajja, each time urging action and promising support. However, the floods returned in May 2020, and once more, Hon. Musa Ecweru was on the scene, repeating the cycle of visits and temporary relief without addressing the root causes of the disaster.

As a citizen from the hills of Rwenzori, I witness firsthand the devastating impact of these floods. My livelihood, like that of many others, is precariously balanced between the hills and the flood-prone lowlands. Each flood leaves a trail of destruction, eroding our ability to rebuild and recover.

The government’s response, characterized by high-profile visits and inadequate follow-up, raises critical questions about the sincerity and effectiveness of its efforts.

Are these visits by government officials merely opportunities to earn large allowances? Is the situation in Kasese being exploited for personal gain while the region bleeds? It is high time we demand accountability and meaningful action from our leaders.

The continuous cycle of floods and ineffective responses must end. Our leaders need to shift from using these disasters as opportunities for allowances and tours, to genuinely addressing the problems at hand.

The people of Kasese deserve safety, security, and a government that truly acts in their best interests.

The time for action is now.

Let us hold our leaders accountable and demand the protection and support that our communities need to thrive.

From the bleeding heart of a common man from Bughalitsa Hills looking for bread in Kasese Municipality.

Columnist, Kameli Zepha Bwambale

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